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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wise Re-Signs With Brewers



From Adam McCalvy at MLB.com:

His first big contract apparently is not going to change Matt Wise. Shortly after agreeing to a two-year, $1.7 million contract to return to the Milwaukee Brewers, he went out to dinner with his wife and paid with a gift card.

"I guess nothing changes," Wise joked.

The Brewers avoided salary arbitration with their top returning setup man late Thursday, signing Wise to a two-year contract that buys out his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility. He will earn $700,000 in 2006 and $1 million in 2007.

Wise, 30, was 4-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 49 appearances last season as one of two primary setup men for closer Derrick Turnbow. A changeup specialist, Wise ranked second in the Majors with a .160 opponents' batting average.

"He's a hard worker and we feel that he can succeed in a number of roles for us -- whether that's as a setup guy or a sixth- or seventh-inning guy who can give you more than one inning," general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's flexible that way."

Said Wise: "I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be here for two more years. I'm really excited about it."

Assistant general manager Gord Ash handled negotiations with Wise's agent. He said that discussions about a two-year contract materialized quickly in the past few days.

"From a risk point of view, we were not talking about significant dollars," said Ash, pointing to the lofty market for relief pitching. "We were very comfortable with this."

Wise gets the security of a two-year deal and, if he pitched anything like he did in 2005, the Brewers get a relative bargain. But the deal does carry some risk because Wise is just two seasons removed from being sidelined with a major elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He also missed much of August and September of last season with shoulder spasms attributed to fatigue.

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