John Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that Ichiro Suzuki believes it is possible he will become a free agent for the first time after this season. Ichiro is unsure of his feelings on that idea, and Hickey points out that this is not him saying he wants out.
Ichiro’s agent, Tony Attanasio, brings up the midseason trade possibility:
"If it appears to them that they can’t sign Ichiro, they might have to trade him. If they didn’t, they’d risk just getting a draft choice for him."
However, the two sides have had preliminary discussions about an extension. The issue may not be money, though – Ichiro said recently that if the Mariners offered him a billion-dollar contract, he’d have to think about it. That’s why the Ichiro-to-Boston type rumors will be in full force this summer. The White Sox and Cardinals could be other possibilities. And if he’s willing to switch back to right field, even more possibilities will emerge. The Yankees will have an opening there if they decline Bobby Abreu’s $16MM option for ’08.