Steve Garvey and the Los Angeles Dodgers were unable to agree last night on a contract for next year, meaning that the first baseman will be playing for another team in 1983.

According to baseball rules, the Dodgers had to sign Garvey by midnight EST to keep him from going through baseball's reentry draft Wednesday.

Garvey had declared his intention to become a free agent Tuesday. Potential free agents had to declare such an intention by Thursday night and their teams were then given 48 hours to sign them. In the case of Garvey and the Dodgers, the inability to come to terms means there is no chance of his signing with Los Angeles, which is one of the clubs that has opted not to participate in the draft.

Garvey reportedly had asked the Dodgers for a five-year contract worth $7.5 million. The Dodgers were reported to have countered with an offer of a three-year, $3.5 million package. Garvey has played the past six seasons for $333,333.33 a year. He never asked to have the contract renegotiated, saying he believed in sticking to an agreement. Earlier in the day, the Dodgers announced that they had been unable to sign Terry Forster to a contract and that the left-handed reliever would also enter the reentry draft.

A total of 46 players is listed by the Major League Players Association as being eligible for the draft. The players association lists San Francisco pitcher Jim Barr and Chicago Cubs outfielder Jay Johnstone as free agents, but the Player Relations Committee disputes that status.

Floyd Bannister, 27, a left-hander who led the American League in strikeouts, is likely to be an attractive free agent. Bannister is classified as a Type A player, from which the Mariners are excluded from choosing. Also excluded by choice from the Type A pool are the Angels, the Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins. Those clubs, who have agreed not to participate in the draft, also do not have to provide players to the compensatory pool available to teams losing Type A players.