The Dodgers Just Gave Will Smith (Not the Actor) An $140 Million Extension That Will Pay Him Through 2043


The Los Angeles Dodgers had a busy offseason. They signed Shohei Ohtani to a historic deal worth $700 million, and their 12-year, $325 million contract for Yoshinobu Yamamoto — a record for a pitcher — put the team over $1 billion in free agent contracts.

This MLB season is officially underway, but the Dodgers aren’t done spending.

The Dodgers and catcher Will Smith agreed to a ten-year, $140 million contract. Smith, who just turned 29 years old, should remain in Los Angeles for the rest of his career — and he’ll be paid until well after he retires.

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Smith’s new deal includes a $30 million signing bonus. He’ll receive $15 million of that bonus in November 2024 and the other $15 million in January 2025. The majority of his contract ($90 million) will be paid out over the next ten seasons, though a portion of it will be deferred.

From 2034 to 2043, Smith will get $5 million per season. That money won’t accrue any interest, but it’s yet another big-money, long-term deal on the books for the Dodgers. Beyond Ohtani and Yamamoto, the Dodgers also have Mookie Betts on a $365 million contract that expires after the 2032 season.

Like Smith, Ohtani will continue earning money long after his deal technically ends. Most of his money is deferred; he’ll get $2 million per season for the next ten years, with the remaining $680 million of his contract coming from 2034 to 2043.

Smith, who was drafted in 2016, reached his first All-Star team last season, and the Dodgers expect him to take another big leap this year. He’ll continue to be a threat in the lineup alongside Betts and Freddie Freeman, with Ohtani adding another impressive bat to the roster.

Both of these contracts are designed to give the Dodgers more financial flexibility for the short-term. By owing less money to some players over the next few seasons, the team has room to offer big deals to other players. And they clearly aren’t shy about spending.

Will it turn into another title? The Dodgers have been perennial contenders but have only won one championship since 1988, which happened during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.

Yet the Dodgers are once again going all in. If they win the World Series — or multiple championships — the investment will be well worth it. Otherwise, it’ll be another expensive disappointment.

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