LA Dodgers should intensify contract extension talks with Will Smith
Now, here's a scenario where the Dodgers should be a bit more forward-thinking when it comes to extending one of their core players. Will Smith is having an All-Star season in 2023 and is becoming more and more expensive with each passing day.
There are a lot of fans who will not like the idea of extending Smith due to the presence of top prospect Diego Cartaya. That's understandable, but a slow start at Double-A this season (which includes hitting below the Mendoza line) should give Dodgers fans pause.
Smith, on the other hand, might be the best hitting catcher in the league. While he just entered Year 1 of the arbitration process this past season, those years fly by and those numbers get bigger very quickly.
After seeing Sean Murphy sign a seven-year extension with the Atlanta Braves this past offseason, the Dodgers would at least have a comp for what a potential contract extension with Smith could look like.
Signing the slugging backstop, who just turned 28 years old, to a similar contract would keep Smith in Los Angeles through his age-35 season. While that seems like a lot of years for a catcher, there's always the possibility that Smith could change positions in the future, or split time behind the plate and act as the team's DH.
Power hitting catchers are not a dime a dozen -- in fact, they're incredibly rare. Couple Smith's hitting with his above-average defense behind the dish, and the Dodgers might regret letting any potential contract talks extend into the offseason.