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Former No. 1 pick accepts plea deal on DUI charges

Matt Bush, the top pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft by the Padres, pleaded no contest to a charge Tuesday afternoon that landed him a 51-month prison sentence as part of a plea agreement, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Bush pleaded no contest to driving under the influence with serious bodily injury, while the other six charges that stemmed from a March 22 hit and run DUI arrest were dropped, the paper reported. Bush receives no probation but will have a 10-year license revocation in Florida.

Some of Bush's prison time has already been served, leaving him with about 3 1/2 years left, the paper reported.

Bush, 27, hit a motorcyclist, fled and had a blood alcohol percentage of .180, police said. The motorcyclist, a 72-year-old man, was able to return home after a stay in intensive care, but his family told the paper he is not the same.

Bush was drafted as a shortstop out of Mission Bay High School in San Diego, but he was converted to a pitcher, and at the time of the arrest, he was in the Rays' system trying to rebuild his career.

The Padres took Bush ahead of Justin Verlander in 2004, but Bush was suspended before he played a professional game because of a bar fight. Once San Diego designated Bush for assignment in '09, he was traded to the Blue Jays, and Toronto released him following an off-the-field incident. The Rays signed him in '10, and Bush appeared last Spring Training to finally have a crack at the Majors on the horizon, as a reliever.

Tampa Bay released Bush in October after placing him on the restricted list.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich.
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