His efforts to secure a contract extension for his client rebuffed, the agent for Brian Jordan said it's "extremely likely" the Dodger left fielder will exercise his right to demand a trade. The Dodgers, however, fully expect Jordan to be in their opening-day lineup next spring, trade demand or not.
"This is a chess move they can make, but we don't have to answer," Dodger General Manager Dan Evans said. "I'm not going to actively shop him, and unless something better comes up, our intention is for him to be our left fielder. I think the world of this guy. I love his leadership, his talent."
Because Jordan, who hit .285 with 18 home runs and 80 runs batted in this season, was traded from Atlanta to Los Angeles in the middle of a multiyear contract last January, he can ask for a trade within 15 days after the World Series.
If no deal is reached by March 15 and Jordan does not rescind his request, he would become a free agent. But in so doing, Jordan would lose free-agency rights for three years and forfeit $11.5 million on his current contract, which includes a guaranteed $9 million next season and a $10.5-million option for 2004 that can be bought out for $2.5 million.
Jordan's agent, Jim Turner, had several discussions with Evans last week about a contract extension, but the Dodgers, burdened by a $100-million payroll that includes several bloated and immovable contracts, don't want to make a multiyear commitment to a 36-year-old who had major knee surgery earlier this month.
Turner said any request for a trade would be based on Jordan's desire for long-term stability or to play closer to his Atlanta home and does not reflect any negative feelings toward the Dodgers.
"There is no animosity here, no demand out of anger or disenchantment," Turner said. "If he can get into a long-term situation closer to home, he'd welcome that. If the Dodgers offered an extension, he'd welcome that. He's about stability. He would like his family settled over a two- to four-year period."
If Jordan, who had 30 RBIs in September, is not traded and remains with the Dodgers, Turner vowed his mind-set would not change.
"He's a professional," Turner said. "The Dodgers are a good team with excellent fans, and it's a good place to play. If he comes back, it will be with the intent of being the best player he can be to help them win."
Dodger bench coach Jim Riggleman is scheduled to interview for the vacant Seattle Mariner managerial job today.... The Dodgers have granted the New York Mets permission to interview Dave Wallace, the team's senior vice president of baseball operations, for a job as pitching coach on new Manager Art Howe's staff. Wallace, who will interview this week, was the Met pitching coach in 2000, when they went to the World Series.... Among Evans' early targets in the free-agent market will be a left-handed hitting first baseman to share time with Eric Karros, a backup catcher to replace free agent Chad Kreuter and a left-handed reliever, though it's likely left-hander Jesse Orosco will return in that role at 46.