The Los Angeles Dodgers have officially solidified their commitment to Will Smith, signing the 28-year-old catcher to a 10-year, $140 million contract extension. Smith, known for his hitting prowess and defensive improvements, has been a key part of the Dodgers’ future plans since his debut in 2019. The negotiations for the extension had been ongoing for some time, with both sides ultimately reaching an agreement that will keep Smith in Dodger blue for the foreseeable future.

The deal includes a $30 million signing bonus to be paid out over the next two years, as well as $50 million in deferred money to be paid out over the following decade. This front-loaded contract will only count for approximately $12 million annually for luxury tax purposes, providing financial flexibility for the Dodgers moving forward. The organization sees Smith as a crucial piece of their core, which includes players like Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Tyler Glasnow, all locked in through at least 2027.

Smith, who has consistently been among the top offensive catchers in the league since his debut, has also made significant defensive strides during his time with the Dodgers. His absence due to injury last season highlighted his importance to the team, further solidifying the decision to offer him a long-term contract. General manager Brandon Gomes praised Smith’s ability to shine in high-pressure situations, despite his humble demeanor off the field.

With this contract, Smith becomes one of the highest-paid catchers in the league, behind only Joe Mauer’s $184 million deal with the Minnesota Twins in 2010. The Dodgers believe they are investing in a true superstar, with first baseman Freddie Freeman declaring Smith as the best catcher in the game. Smith expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to continue his career with the team that believed in him from the beginning and provided him with the tools to succeed.

The extension represents a significant organizational moment for the Dodgers, as they secure one of their homegrown talents for the long term. Smith’s dedication to the team and his contributions on and off the field have earned him a special place within the organization. As he embarks on this new chapter in his career, Smith looks forward to representing the Dodgers and continuing to pursue World Series success with his teammates. Overall, the contract extension symbolizes a mutual commitment between Smith and the Dodgers, solidifying his place as a franchise cornerstone for years to come.

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