Jon Saraceno of USA Today was granted an extensive interview with the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki, through an interpreter. While Ichiro doesn’t say anything groundbreaking regarding his future after the 2007 season, a few quotes have negative connotations for Seattle. For example:
The Mariners say they want to extend his deal and have him retire in a Seattle uniform. Asked if he prefers to stay, Ichiro demurs: "It’s a very touchy subject right now, so I’d prefer not to answer."
It doesn’t sound like Ichiro is going to grant the Mariners a discount, either:
"How much a team would offer a player is an expression of how much the team cares — respects — him," Ichiro says. "It’s very important. How important? Hard to say."
He did have one particularly odd thing to say about his future, though. Ichiro wants to become a pitcher when he’s 40 and is "kind of serious about it." Still seems like a joke, but it would just be cool to see him switch to the mound. Or play center field most of the time and pitch on occasion. We need more guys like that, and to see a superstar do it would be incredible. The article says Ichiro might play until he’s 45.
Back in February, Ichiro’s agent publicly discussed the possibility that trading him might make the most sense this summer. Feel free to speculate wildly on that one.