D-backs sign a pair, closing in on Borchering

The D-backs officially signed supplemental round pick Christopher Owings and 13th-round pick Patrick Schuster.

The pair participated in batting practice Tuesday and will head to Missoula, Mont. on Wednesday to start rookie ball.

Owings signed for $950,000, while Schuster got $450,000. Both of the figures were above slot recommendations, but the D-backs felt strongly about both players and scouting director Tom Allison went out of his way to praise GM Josh Byrnes as well as ownership for providing him with the funds necessary to get the deals done.

“Ownership has stood beside us the whole time,” Allison said.

The D-backs feel they are getting closer with first-round pick (16th overall) Bobby Borchering.

“Borchering is coming along,” Allison said. “We’ve had conversations today that have been very positive. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for some things to unfold. They’ve been very cooperative, I think our offers have been true and fair. It’s just one of those, working towards the right thing, slow and sure.”

The D-backs had offered the infielder from Bishop Verot (Fla.) High School $1.5 million.

“We have increased our offer,” Allison said. “We’re moving, they’re moving, trying to find that happy medium.”

The team is also hopeful it can get a deal done with seventh-round pick Matthew Helm out of Hamilton High in nearby Chandler, Ariz.

Schuster received national attention this past year when he threw four straight no-hitters. He, like Borchering, committed to play for the University of Florida. Schuster went as far as attending summer school classes, but it didn’t sound like it was a great experience for him.

“I was at college, I went to summer school,” he said. “You know what I figured that would probably hurry [the D-backs] up a little bit, you know get them thinking a little. Then I got there and I don’t like being treated like I’m stupid. I got there and they treated me like a dumb jock and I didn’t appreciate it, I didn’t like it. As soon as I got the phone call that they got me my money I packed up and left as soon as they told me.”

Owings had committed to the University of South Carolina, but area scout George Swain knew enough about him to know that he really wanted to get his pro career started.

“They got the number I was looking for,” Owings said. “I grew up a Carolina fan, but like I said this is a good opportunity and it’s what I wanted to do. I want to be a Major League Baseball player so this was the path I thought I would take.”

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