Javier Baez: 6 years, $140 million through 2027
There is simultaneously so much to say and nothing left to say about Javier Baez and his $140 million contract. Everyone knows how it goes at this point: beloved World Series winner gets traded away in service of a Chicago Cubs rebuild, only to struggle mightily with his new team, the New York Mets. Then, the Tigers scoop him up hoping that he'll show signs of his old greatness, only to end up shackled by a multimillionaire shortstop who finished the 2023 season with the worst OBP in the major leagues and became an internet meme because of it.
This is deeply maddening, to say the least. This year, Baez has an opt-out with four years and $98 million remaining, and there's little to no chance he'll take it when the likelihood of getting an even slightly comparable contract with any other team is slim to none. It would be ungenerous to say that Baez doesn't want to do better, but there is immense safety in making $23 million dollars in one year even if your final slash line is .222/.267/.325.
Tragically, It looks like the Tigers will be indebted to Baez until 2027, and there is very little goodwill or hope for him in the years ahead. It feels safe to say that the Javier Baez project will be one of the biggest busts not only in Tigers history, but in baseball history as a whole.