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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

February 20, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Agent confirms Ichiro “very disappointed”, mulling options

As we expected, today’s post about Ichiro pondering free agency is already generating talk around baseball. After reading the words on this site, Ichiro’s agent, Tony Attanasio, told Times national baseball writer Larry Stone that his client’s comments “were very real.”
Attanasio went on to say that Ichiro: “has been very disappointed over the last three years, more so than people would believe. But those who know him well understand that he was equally as disappointed as the fans and probably everyone on the Mariners to see what happened.
“That being said, what happens now will depend on a combination of a lot of things – what the Mariner organization thinks of Ichiro, how they view him and place him in various categories of his peers, and the performance of the team,” Attanasio added.
“Don’t forget, when he first got here, they won 116 games. The team was loaded with not the greatest players in the world, but pretty doggone good players, and there was a certain character the team had. You first go into that, and where do you go from there? It’s hard to maintain this in the baseball business, as clubs have discovered.”
And Attanasio confirms Ichiro will be taking all that into account when he decides whether or not he wants to stay in Seattle.
“I have told the club, and they know this to be true, that Ichiro himself has walked away from more multi-year, multi-million-dollar endorsement opportunities than any player I’ve ever known in 30-plus years,” he said. “He doesn’t make a decision exclusively on money. Some players, as most of us in the industry know, would sign anything but a check. That’s not Ichiro. He doesn’t make decisions exclusively based on dollars.”
Attanasio expects negotiations to continue in coming days, but said the team has yet to make Ichiro an offer he could take seriosuly. “There hasn’t been an offer that Ichiro would consider a legitimate offer,” he said. “There’s been some talk and discussions about getting to that point, but in Ichiro’s view he has not seen a legitimate offer.”

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