It was 23 years ago today that Major League Baseball saw its first signed commitment of nine figures. The Dodgers and Kevin Brown agreed to $105 million over seven years for the 33-year-old to become the ace in Los Angeles.
Reaching the World Series in each of the past two years with the Marlins and Padres, Brown was the biggest free agent pitcher on the market. The Dodgers wouldn’t reach the playoffs during his five years with the team before being traded to the Yankees for Yhency Brazoban and Jeff Weaver.
Brown ended his time with the Dodgers owning a 58-32 record and a 2.83 ERA in 137 games (129 starts). The right-hander’s 147 ERA+ is third only to Zack Greinke (156) and Clayton Kershaw (155) for pitchers who have made at least 18 starts for the Dodgers.
Sports Illustrated went into depth back in 2018, including quotes from Dodger General Manager at the time, Kevin Malone.
“Mike Piazza had just signed for $91 million in New York and Mo Vaughn signed for $80 million in Anaheim,” Malone says. “I didn’t think it was a stretch to break through this arbitrary $100 million glass ceiling. We wanted his production, his intensity and his ability to make pitchers around him better. We pushed it to the limit because we felt it was worth it.”
- Mike Brito, the legendary Dodger scout that signed Fernando Valenzuela, was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award.
- Steve Garvey shared his feelings on the news of Gil Hodges finally getting into the Hall of Fame.