Dec. 12, 1998: Twelve years ago yesterday, Alex Rodriguez signed baseball's first $200 million deal.
Almost exactly two years earlier -- 14 years ago today -- Kevin Brown became MLB's first $100 million man.
That's when Brown, the right-handed starter who had just posted ERAs of 1.89, 2.69 and 2.38 in his previous three years (two with the Florida Marlins, one with the San Diego Padres), inked a seven-year, $105 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, negotiated by (who else?) agent Scott Boras. A noteworthy rider in the contract: It included 12 yearly trips on a private plane, from Los Angeles to his Macon, Ga., home.
Like A-Rod, Brown played well -- but his one-man effort wasn't enough to push his team to great heights (Brown's ERA over five years was 2.83, but the Dodgers never made the playoffs in that span). Brown eventually was traded to the New York Yankees, where he played two years before retiring in early 2006.