M's to be paying Ichiro until at least 2032

NEW YORK -- The Seattle Mariners will be paying Ichiro Suzuki for at least a quarter century.

The All-Star outfielder's new contract extension calls for the
team to defer $25 million of the $90 million he is owed, money that
the team will not have to fully pay until at least 2032.

Suzuki, MVP of last week's All-Star Game, gets a $5 million
signing bonus and annual salaries of $17 million from 2008-12 under
the terms of last Friday's deal.

Seattle will pay $12 million in salary each year and defer $5
million per season at 5.5 percent interest. Suzuki, who turns 33 in
October, will receive the money in annual installments each Jan. 30
starting with the year after his retirement from the major leagues.

Because of the deferred money, the average annual value of the
contract is discounted to $16.1 million under the provisions of
baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

In addition, he gets a housing allowance of $32,000 next year,
an increase of $1,000 from this season, and the amount will rise by
$1,000 each year. He also will be provided with either a new jeep
or Mercedes SUV by the team, which also gives him four first-class
round trip tickets from Japan each year for his family. Provisions
for the Mariners to give him a personal trainer and an interpreter
were continued.

When asked Wednesday how appreciative he was that the Mariners
went far beyond a basic contract for him, the 33-year-old Suzuki
said through his interpreter: "I spoke about the contract on the
day I signed. I would not like to talk about that any more."

Two Mariners executives also declined comment before Seattle's
game against Baltimore, citing the team's policy of not revealing
contract details.

A baseball official with knowledge of Suzuki's new contract --
and his current one that ends this fall and is paying him $11
million this season -- said the perks of a team-provided vehicle,
plane tickets, a personal trainer and an interpreter were also in
Suzuki's previous deals and were not a major negotiating issue this
time around. The official requested anonymity to honor the
Mariners' policy of not discussing contracts.

Suzuki, who would have been eligible to become a free agent
after this season, began Wednesday with a .352 batting average and
a major league-leading 133 hits.

The seven-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove outfielder
maintains the same limited no-trade clause he had in the $44
million, four-year deal he signed before the 2004 season. In his
current deal, Suzuki can pick 10 teams to which he can't be traded
without his consent.