ST. LOUIS — All-Star shortstop Ozzie Smith became what his agent claimed was baseball's highest-paid player by signing a four-year contract extension through 1989 with the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.
"In terms of dollars and cents, it makes him the highest-paid player," said Ed Gottlieb, the infielder's agent. Gottlieb said the agreement will pay Smith more than $2 million a year.
"I think the highest contracts are (Philadelphia's Mike) Schmidt and (the New York Mets' George) Foster at $2 million," Gottlieb said. "Ozzie's contract for the four-year extension is in excess of $2 million."
Negotiations with Smith had begun in earnest last month, and at one time it appeared likely he would be traded.
"I'm happy and hopefully the organization is happy. It's a great day," Smith said. "At one time, it didn't look good. I have great memories here."