April 23, 2024

Dodgers, catcher Will Smith agree to 10-year, $140M extension

Catcher Will Smith and the Dodgers signed a 10-year, $140 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, the most recent deal in an offseason of large spending by a Los Angeles group that’s locking up its core members.

Smith, who turns 29 on Friday, was due to hit free company following the 2025 season. Los Angeles prevented that by giving him a deal that can run via the 2033 season and hold him in the course of one in all baseball’s most harmful lineups.

The $140 million is the third-highest assure ever for a catcher, behind Joe Mauer’s eight-year, $184 million contract with Minnesota and Buster Posey’s nine-year, $167 million cope with San Francisco. The deal, negotiated by Apex Baseball, features a $30 million signing bonus — to be paid in two installments by January 2025 — and round 30% of the remaining wage deferred, sources stated.

After debuting in 2019, Smith nearly instantly established himself as one of many best-hitting catchers in baseball. With an elite eye and 20-plus-home run energy, Smith spent most of final season hitting third for Los Angeles and made his first All-Star group.

The addition of Shohei Ohtani this winter pushed Smith down to the cleanup spot, behind the three previous MVPs on the high of the Dodgers’ lineup: Mookie Betts, Ohtani and Freddie Freeman.

Smith’s extension follows the 10-year, $700 million deal signed by Ohtani this winter, in addition to Yoshinobu Yamamoto‘s 12-year, $325 million contract, Tyler Glasnow‘s five-year, $137.5 million extension and a one-year, $23.5 million pact for outfielder Teoscar Hernandez.

Altogether, the Dodgers have dedicated greater than $1.35 billion in future salaries this winter.

By stretching Smith’s deal to 10 years, the Dodgers will obtain important luxurious tax advantages. The contract will depend for round $12.2 million a 12 months towards their aggressive steadiness tax payroll. The deal pushes their CBT payroll this season to practically $325 million, as Smith was set to make $8.55 million — a document for a second-time arbitration-eligible catcher — after settling with Los Angeles.

Because Smith was due to hit free company coming into his age-31 season, a decade-long deal offers him extra safety than catchers sometimes obtain. Smith additionally may finally transition to one other place, having performed at third base and second base within the Dodgers’ minor league system.

With arguably one of the best catching depth in baseball — in some unspecified time in the future, Diego Cartaya, Dalton Rushing and Thayron Liranzo all have appeared on Top 100 prospect lists, and 26-year-old Hunter Feduccia is anticipated to debut in Los Angeles this season — the Dodgers may have opted to let Smith attain free company. But the deal’s size and ensuing CBT low cost made it a mutually helpful proposition.

Smith, a first-round draft choose in 2016, earned it together with his bat. Over his first 5 seasons with the Dodgers, he hit .261/.357/.483 with 91 dwelling runs and 306 RBIs. His 18.3% strikeout fee over that point locations him close to the highest quarter of gamers in MLB, and his stroll fee of 10.9% is within the 82nd percentile.