3. Drew Smyly: 2024 salary of $10.5 million
Although Drew Smyly was eventually transferred into the bullpen late last year, he made 23 starts for the team and I think there's a good chance he begins the season in the starting rotation. That doesn't mean he'll stay there or even stay there long, especially if he hurls it like he did in July and August.
The main reason I think Smyly will start in the rotation is because the team will at least want to try and get more out of his $10.5 million contract than relief appearances. Even with the need for a go-to lefty in the bullpen, the team will probably try to get multiple innings out of him like last year. In any case, I foresee Smyly being overshadowed by one of the younger guys and the team opting not to exercise his mutual option for 2025 if he is still with the club after this year's trade deadline.