Ichiro Hints At Prolonged Career With Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki hinted to John Hickey of Sportspress Northwest that he wants to re-sign with the Mariners after his current contract expires. Ichiro, whose contract expires after the 2012 season, is now 37, but he says age is more of a distraction than a limitation. 

“Take the talk of age. It’s something that I will have to battle," Ichiro said. “When you have to think about something like that, it’s not a positive for you. I mean, it’s something you don’t have to think about, but when you have people around you talking about it, you don’t want the negatives to get in.”

There were lots of positives for Ichiro in 2010. He led the league in hits, reached the 200 hit plateau for the tenth consecutive season and stole 42 bases, hitting .315/.359/.394. As Ichiro points out he can still play though, “there are players who are 25 who play already like they’re 40.”

He has 2,244 hits as a Major Leaguer, so the 3,000 hit plateau is within reach, even though he didn’t make his MLB debut until he was 27. Ichiro admits that his goals were once personal, but says they have become more team-oriented as he has become a fixture in the game and, especially, in Seattle.

“For me, it’s about going to the playoffs with the Mariners,” Ichiro said. “It’s all the time you’ve spent getting there."