Dodgers News: Will Smith Signing Contract Extension ‘Means A Lot’

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Will Smith and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a 10-year contract extension last week, ensuring the All-Star catcher will be with the team through the 2033 season.

The deal includes a $30 million signing bonus with $50 million in deferred money. The 29-year-old and the Dodgers hadn’t discussed a long-term extension during the offseason, and now that a contract has come to fruition, Smith now is a highly paid piece of a coveted organization.

“I don’t love that part, but I love being a Dodger,” Smith said of the attention that came with signing a lucrative deal. “I’ve loved being here since I got drafted in 2016 and I don’t think I’m the player I would be without being here.

“For me to probably finish my career a Dodger, means a lot. I couldn’t be happier or more excited moving forward. Looking forward, to me, there’s no better organization that’s more committed to winning a World Series. That’s the most important thing to me when it comes to baseball.”

Smith is one of the few homegrown Dodgers to receive a large extension, one that puts him in with some of the highest paid catchers in league history.

The former first-round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft made his debut with the Dodgers in 2019, and has stuck with the team as their everyday catcher since 2020.

Smith was selected to his first All-Star Game roster this past season, following several years of being snubbed at the Midsummer Classic. Although he battled injuries in the second half, Smith’s value to the team is tough to replicate.

How valuable is Will Smith to Dodgers lineup?

Since 2021, Smith is at the top among Major League catchers with at least 1,000 plate appearances in total value. His 12.9 fWAR holds the No. 1 slot, ahead of Atlanta Braves’ Sean Murphy (12.6 fWAR) and Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto (12.6 fWAR).

Smith’s 68 home runs in that span are best among all catchers, and his 400 games played show consistency to stay on the field.

Smith’s offensive numbers outweigh his defense, and in a league where scoring runs is at a premium, his bat has set the standard.

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