Dodgers Rumors: No Contract Extension Discussions With Will Smith

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Will Smith was among the Los Angeles Dodgers arbitration-eligible players for the 2024 season, but he avoided a hearing by signing a one-year, $8.55 million contract. It marks the largest deal for a second-year arbitration-eligible catcher in MLB history.

The total fell short of projections made by MLB Trade Rumors ($9.3 million) and Cot’s Baseball Contracts ($9 million), but it nevertheless represents an increase from the $5.25 million salary he earned last year.

After earning a combined $13.8 million in his first two years of salary arbitration, Smith will go through the process for a final time next year before potentially becoming a free agent after the 2025 season.

According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, the Dodgers have not held any contract extension discussions with Smith to this point:

My understanding is there haven’t been any extension discussions between the two sides to date.

Smith is in line to receive a deal that should make him one of the highest-paid catchers. J.T. Realmuto of the Philadelphia Phillies currently has that distinction with a $23.875 million annual salary as part of the five-year contract he signed prior to the 2021 season.

Smith is coming off an All-Star season that saw him hit .261/.359/.438 with 21 doubles, 19 home runs and 76 RBI. He had a stellar first half before going into a prolonged slump after the All-Star break.

Smith remained productive while playing through a fractured rib in the first half, but results at the plate tailed off despite getting healthy. Smith also dealt with a concussion that caused him to miss nearly two weeks in April.

Will Smith ranked among top 10 catchers for 2024 season by The Shredder

Smith again represented the Dodgers on The Shredder rankings of the Top-10 Catchers Right now heading into the 2024 season with a placement at No. 2.

It’s the second consecutive year Smith was ranked the second-best catcher in all of baseball. Ahead of Smith is the Baltimore Orioles’ Adley Rutschman for his first time sitting atop The Shredder’s annual list.

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