Dodgers’ Catcher Will Smith Signs Massive Ten-Year Extension

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Happy Birthday, Will Smith!

Earlier on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced they have signed catcher Will Smith to a ten-year contract extension which runs through the 2033 MLB season.

A certain catcher in Philadelphia might take umbrage with Smith stealing the moniker of the “best catcher in baseball.”


Smith, who turns 29 on Opening Day, March 28, will reportedly receive $140 million guaranteed on the extension. In turn, Smith has agreed to no opt-outs in the deal thus keeping him in Dodger blue for the foreseeable future. In typical Dodgers fashion, Smith’s new contract extension may not have opt-outs, but it certainly has deferrals.

How Will Smith’s Contract Extension Breaks Down

  • Now: $30 million signing bonus
  • 2024: $13.5 million
  • 2025 – 2027: $13 million
  • 2028 – 2032: $9.5 million
  • 2033: $9.95 million
  • 2034 – 2043: $5 million in deferred money

Smith has slashed .263/.358/.484 with 91 homers, 308 RBI, 85 doubles, and an .842 OPS in just over five full seasons in Los Angeles. A 2023 MLB All-Star selection, Smith led the National League in a couple of categories in 2023 including sacrifice flies (11) and double plays turned by a catcher (3). His 937 putouts as a catcher and .966 fielding percentage placed him in the top three of the position. His 14.9 career WAR is second among active catchers behind Philadelphia’s JT Realmuto since 2019. 

Baseball Reference’s similarity score grades Smith as comparable to Mike Napoli through his age 28 season.

A Historic Deal!

Smith’s deal extension with the Dodgers is also historic. No other catcher in the history of baseball has signed an extension of this length. Prior to Smith’s deal, the longest extension ever given to a catcher was an eight-year extension. The trio of Buster Posey (Giants), Joe Mauer (Twins), and Keibert Ruiz (Nationals) signed eight-year deals with their respective clubs. 

Mauer should serve as examples as to why catchers don’t get massive deals. 

Mauer was considered a generational talent and the best catcher in the American League for the first seven years of his career. However, Mauer ended his historic career playing elsewhere on the diamond or not at all. He played the final 666 games of his Hall of Fame career at first base or as Minnesota’s designated hitter. 

It’s a cautionary tale about the trials and tribulation of the position. Clearly, the Dodgers hope Smith can buck the trend.

WATCH: Will Smith Discusses His Contract Extension

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