Canberra Cavalry second baseman Adam Buschini signed with Major League franchise San Diego Padres on Friday, now he wants to add an Australian Baseball League championship ring.
Cavalry coach Michael Collins, who is a minor league coach with the Padres, got a call from San Diego on Thursday and, 24 hours later, Buschini signed a contract.
The Padres have picked up the remaining three years of the contract he originally signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.
Buschini was cut by the Phillies in 2010 and joined Canberra to try to get back to the minor leagues.
After finishing the season with the Cavs, he'll join the Padres for spring training and could play for their AA-class team, the San Antonio Missions, for whom Cavalry pitcher Hayden Beard played last year.
Beard is recovering from shoulder surgery and was hopeful of playing Triple-A this year.
Buschini, who became the first player to win the ABL triple crown, said his signing wouldn't be a distraction before next week's ABL championship series at Narrabundah Ballpark.
Canberra is just two wins away from winning its first ABL title.
The 25-year-old finished the regular season on top of the league for batting average (.363), home runs (15) and runs batted in (50), giving him the heralded triple crown. ''I got a call yesterday from our head coach 'Tubby' [Collins] and he said they were interested and, this morning, I found out it was finalised - it's a good, good feeling,'' Buschini said. ''It's a good feeling knowing that all the hard work paid off … but right now I can't be celebrating [as I'm] focused on two more victories.''
Canberra general manager Thom Carter said it showed Major League clubs were taking notice of the fledgling ABL, which is in its third season.
''Here's a kid who drafted high in the fourth round by the Phillies, had some injury problems and got cut,'' Carter said.
''He played two years of excellent independent ball, came out here hoping to get seen and was seen.''
The Canberra Times believes Cavalry shortstop Kody Hightower, who burst on the ABL scene last season, is close to signing with a club in the Atlantic League.
■ AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE
Championship series: Canberra Cavalry v Sydney Blue Sox or Perth Heat, at Narrabundah Ballpark. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7pm. Tickets available at canberracavalry.com.au/tickets.