By Murray Chass on January 24, 2016

On Nov. 19, 1976, Wayne Garland signed a Cleveland Indians’ contract, ending his status as one of the 25 players in Major League Baseball’s first class of free agents. Garland’s contract was stunning for the time. It would run for 10 years and pay him $2.15 million and his agent, Jerry Kapstein, $35,000.

The $2,185,000 value would be barely half of today’s average salary – $3,952,252 – and even in today’s dollars, accounting for inflation, it would be about $9.25 million. But the fact that a team was willing to guarantee a player’ salary for 10 years, at $215,000 a year, was mind-boggling even if Garland had been a 20-game winner for Baltimore the previous season.

While the Garland contract was a stunner, it also served as a cautionary warning to teams …

Murray Chass

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