Ichiro Suzuki doesn't plan to retire

Updated: March 2, 2014, 3:32 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Ichiro Suzuki evidently does not plan to join teammate Derek Jeter in retirement.

Ichiro said during a recent interview with ESPNNewYork.com that he has no intention to retire after this season.

[+] EnlargeIchiro
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesIchiro Suzuki likely will have to accept a reserve role in the Yankees' overhauled outfield.

"Retirement from baseball is something I haven't even thought about," Ichiro said.

Despite having one year remaining on his current contract with the New York Yankees, the 40-year-old Ichiro claimed that he hopes to play "many" more seasons.

"Not just a few," he said. "Many. For me, I feel there's no reason for me to retire right now."

Ichiro has 2,742 career hits, third-most among active players behind only Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Jeter made headlines last month when he announced that 2014 would be his final season.

A 10-time All-Star, Ichiro figures to have a diminished role this season with the Yankees, who signed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran this offseason to bolster an outfield corps that already featured Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano.

Ichiro, who batted a career-low .262 in 150 games last season, acknowledged that he may have to accept a reserve role in 2014.

"I don't know how I'm going to feel once the season starts," Ichiro said. "I don't know what it's going to be like. But right now, it doesn't change the way I prepare myself throughout the spring."

Ellsbury and Gardner are projected to play every day in the outfield while Beltran and Soriano likely will rotate between the third outfield spot and designated hitter, leaving no clear role for Ichiro.

"When I first signed here, I knew what I was getting into," Ichiro said. "I knew every year there would be changes and things would happen that maybe we can't control. But I can't allow that to affect the way I prepare or go into the season."

ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews contributed to this report.

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