Seth Smith has been one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise dismal Padres lineup this season. The team took steps to ensure he would be a key part of that lineup for a while, signing him to a two-year contract extension worth $13 million on Wednesday.
The deal keeps Smith – a free agent at the end of the season – signed with the Padres through 2016 with a club option for 2017. Details of the deal weren't immediately available.
“I love it here,” the outfielder said after Wednesday’s 3-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. “I like the way we are going.”
Smith, 31, leads the team in most major hitting categories, including batting average (.281), home runs (nine), RBI (25), on-base percentage (.386), slugging (.504) and walks (38). He is also hitting a team-high .322 with an impressive 1.010 OPS in home games this season, earning rave reviews from manager Bud Black.
“He’s off to a good start,” Black said. “It’s a good sign that Smitty wants to be here. It takes two sides to get a deal done. … I’m glad it worked out.”
Smith was traded from the Oakland A’s to the Padres in the offseason in exchange for relief pitcher Luke Gregerson. Originally a second-round pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2004, Smith spent the past two seasons with an A’s team that made the playoffs each year.
His numbers this season have earned talk of a spot in this month’s All-Star Game.
“I have no idea,” Smith said of his chances of making the National League roster. “I haven’t put any thought into it. It would be a great honor.”
Earlier this season, the Padres signed second-baseman Jedd Gyorko to a five-year contract extension worth $35 million, with a $13 million club option for a sixth year.