Wednesday's 12 p.m. EST deadline for the St. Louis Cardinals and Albert Pujols to agree on a contract extension came and went, with no agreement, and thus the two sides have ended discussions until after the 2011 season. The inability to reach an agreement is certainly not good news for the Cardinals and their fans, but they still have Pujols for at least one more season, reminds Rob Neyer.
But for now the focus is on the lack of a new deal, necessitating statements issued from both sides. First, from Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano:
After engaging in discussions with the St. Louis Cardinals Organization, we have suspended further negotiations until after the conclusion of the 2011 season, due to today's self-imposed deadline. At the beginning of this process, Albert decided a timetable needed to be established in which we would negotiate. We exchanged proposals with the Cardinals during that time. While both parties were hopeful that an agreement could be reached, a difference of opinion in determining Albert's value simply could not be resolved.
Pujols, 31, is reportedly seeking a 10-year contract worth in the area of $300 million.
The Cardinals' front office brass met with the media Wednesday afternoon in Jupiter, Florida, but before they did, Chairman Bill DeWitt issued a statement of his own:
"While we are disappointed that we did not reach an agreement, we remain hopeful that Albert will finish his career in St. Louis. Albert has been playing baseball at the highest level for the Cardinals these past 10 years, providing us with countless great memories. We look forward to many more in 2011 and hopefully beyond. We are looking forward to this upcoming season and feel great about the team we have assembled."
DeWitt added, "We will honor his wishes and not discuss this matter until the completion of the season."