Eduardo Rodriguez: 5 years, $77,000,000 through 2026
Eduardo Rodriguez's inclusion here is not about the amount or the length, rather the fact that a player opt-out was written into his contract after only two years. Now that Miguel Cabrera is retired, E-Rod is easily the most exciting thing about the Tigers. He hit a real stride in 2023, pitching over 150 innings as Detroit's ace, with a final 3.30 ERA — the best in his career — 143 strikeouts, and only 48 walks.
He made a surprising choice this year, too, when he invoked his no-trade clause to block a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He cited family reasons for the stay multiple times and hasn't budged from that explanation publicly, but vague rumors about the conditions of the deal, or about how much he likes or dislikes Los Angeles, have circulated that might point to something more.
Despite the real promise the Tigers have started to show, it's most likely that Rodriguez will opt out of his contract and move to a different team this offseason. This is especially true if he's given the opportunity to have more say in the terms of a move, and more time to prepare his family as opposed to the upheaval they would have faced with a midseason trade.