Los Angeles Dodgers Extend 10-Year Contract to Catcher Will Smith for $140 Million

Dodgers Sign Will Smith to 10-Year, $140 Million Contract Extension

The Los Angeles Dodgers and catcher Will Smith have agreed to a 10-year contract extension worth $140 million, as announced by the team on Wednesday. This deal marks the third-largest contract ever given to a catcher in MLB history, trailing only Joe Mauer and Buster Posey.

The extension for Smith was welcomed news for the Dodgers, who had been looking at other options for their catching position after 2025 when Smith would have become a free agent. With this new contract, Smith will remain with the Dodgers through 2035, and he will be paid an average of $14 million annually. Nearly $45 million of the total amount will be deferred, with a $30 million signing bonus included.

Smith turned 29 on Thursday and is known as one of the premier hitting catchers in baseball. He has been an All-Star once and has compiled impressive numbers since his MLB debut in 2019. Selected as the No. 32 overall pick out of the University of Louisville in 2016, Smith has excelled with a .263/.358/.484 batting line and an average of 30 home runs per 162 games played.

On the defensive side, Statcast evaluations for 2023 rated Smith as above-average in blocking pitches in the dirt and his “pop time” on throws to second base but below average in pitch-framing. However, it is worth noting that the Dodgers’ system boasts top catching prospects Dalton Rushing and Thayron Liranzo, ranked as No. 1 and No. 3 respectively by CBS Sports.

The extension for Smith is just one part of significant financial commitments made by the Dodgers this offseason. They have already exceeded $1 billion in future salary for free agents like Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Overall, this move is a significant investment by the Dodgers into their catching position and their overall roster depth moving forward into future seasons.

Sophia Reynolds

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