Albert Pujols Reports To Cardinals Spring Training Thursday Morning

Albert Pujols reported to St. Louis Cardinals spring training camp early Thursday morning, the day after his self-imposed negotiations deadline passed without an extension with the team. Pujols showed up at 7:35 a.m., smiling, and said he was feeling "better than ever."

The Cardinals had until noon on Wednesday to reach a contract extension with Pujols, but 12 p.m. EST came and went without a deal, meaning the three-time MVP will become a free agent after the 2011 season. Pujols has maintained he will not discuss a new contract during spring training or the regular season.

"Once the 2011 season is over, we hope to revisit those talks," Pujols said in a statement late Wednesday.

With the talks off until after the season ends, Pujols is now fixated on winning.

"The last thing anyone in this clubhouse needs to worry about, is what's going to happen to me after the season," he added.

So far, his teammates are doing their best to not let it all become a distraction. "I don't think it's changed for anybody in here," Cardinals' pitcher Kyle Lohse said.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.