Dodgers Sign 28-Year-Old All-Star to $140 Million Deal: Report - Sport News

Dodgers Sign 28-Year-Old All-Star to $140 Million Deal: Report

Getty Will Smith is in agreement with the Dodgers for a 10-year extension.

Dodgers Sign Will Smith to $140 Million Deal: Report

The Los Angeles Dodgers have once again pulled out the checkbook in the offseason. This time, they have signed 28-year-old catcher Will Smith to a 10-year, $140 million extension, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

Will Smith and the Dodgers are finalizing a 10-year, $140 million extension, sources tell me and @juanctoribio. The deal includes some deferred money.

Smith made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2019 as a 24-year-old. Smith became the opening day catcher for the first time in 2021 and has served the role ever since. In 2023 Smith was named to his first All-Star Game.

The Dodgers drafted Smith in the first round of the 2016 June Ameture Draft out of the University of Louisville. The Dodgers have already played two regular season games in 2024 and Smith has already collected five hits. In his career, he has slashed .263/.358/.484.


Dodgers Lock Down One of the League’s Best Catchers

Smith has been a consistent producer for the Dodgers ever since making his debut. He has posted an OPS+ above 100 in every season as a major leaguer. Smith, who turns 29 on March 28, had the fourth-highest batting average of any catcher in the majors in 2023. Additionally, his 19 home runs ranked No. 11 among catchers last season.

Smith had ranked in the top five for home runs at the position in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Smith has 91 home runs in his career. While Smith has already established himself as a major leaguer, he is still making improvements in his game. Smith set a career-high in walks last season with 63.

Smith was set to hit free agency after the 2025 season but now joins Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts and Yoshinobu Yamamoto as Dodgers under contract through 2032.

“His 18.3% strikeout rate over that time places him near the top quarter of players in MLB, and his walk rate of 10.9% is in the 82nd percentile,” wrote ESPN’s Jeff Passan.


Dodgers Offseason Spending

The Dodgers have spent big this offseason and have committed over $1.35 billion in future salaries, according to Passan.

“By stretching Smith’s deal to 10 years, the Dodgers will receive significant luxury-tax benefits. The contract will count for around $14 million a year against their competitive-balance-tax payroll. The deal pushes their CBT payroll this season to over $326 million, as Smith was set to make $8.55 million — a record for a second-time arbitration-eligible catcher — after settling with Los Angeles,” wrote Passan.

This offseason the Dodgers signed Ohtani to a historic 10-year, $700 million deal. They also signed Yamamoto to a 12-year, $325 million deal. The club acquired Tyler Glasnow in a trade from the Tampa Bay Rays and signed him to a five-year, $137.5 million extension.

The Dodgers have shown they are not shy about dishing out big money to keep star players in Los Angeles. Smith is the first of the long-term signings to actually be drafted and brought through the minor leagues by the Dodgers.

Smith’s new deal would keep him in Los Angeles for another decade. The 10-year deal is the longest-term for a catcher in the MLB, according to Spotrac. Smith has shown versatility should the Dodgers see a decline in his ability as a catcher as he ages. Outside of catcher, Smith has played first base and third base in the majors. He played third base and second base in addition to catcher as a minor leaguer.

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