12/12/08 2:01 PM EST
Betemit, Wise agree to one-year deals
Infielder, outfielder avoid arbitration; Jenks next on Sox list
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Betemit will earn $1.3 million in 2009, while Wise's salary checks in at $550,000. Jenks certainly will be tendered a contract before Friday's 11 p.m. CT deadline.
Wise had a rags-to-riches story in 2008. Independent baseball in New Jersey looked to be his season-long vocation, until Minor League director Buddy Bell, who knew Wise from their days together with the Reds, encouraged the White Sox to bring the 30-year-old veteran into Minor League Spring Training. Wise ended up becoming an outfield starter against primarily right-handed pitchers during the final two weeks of the season, replacing the injured Carlos Quentin, and hitting .248 with six home runs, 18 RBIs and nine stolen bases over 57 games. Wise also hit the White Sox first postseason home run in the American League Division Series against the Rays.
Acquired from the Yankees as part of the Nick Swisher deal, Betemit, 27, hit .265 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in New York last year. The versatility of the 27-year-old is his calling card, having played 36 games at first base, 21 at third base, 14 at shortstop and three at second base during the 2008 campaign. The switch-hitter also has some power, having hit 32 home runs combined over the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.