Albert Pujols, Cardinals Reportedly Far Apart In Contract Talks

With Albert Pujols looking to report to Spring Training on the 16th, and with Pujols having set a Spring Training deadline for contract negotiations, time is running out awful fast for the Cardinals to get anything done. Buster Olney reported a couple days ago that talks weren't progressing well, and now Jon Heyman chimes in to back him up:

word is, albert pujols and #cardinals are so far apart there is virtually no chance for a deal by his feb. 16 deadline

pujols & cardinals still aren't in same ballpark on years or $. hes said to see a-rod-plus as comp, source: they want to keep to 6/7 yrs

Once again, I have to point out the possibility that this is all off-base. Pujols and the Cardinals have expressed on many an occasion that they will conduct their talks in private, with little being leaked to the media. But so far, no one's had anything encouraging to say for a few weeks, and all the reports we're seeing now seem awfully negative. It's possible that all these journalists are wrong, but it's unlikely.

So we may be less than a week away from anticipating Albert Pujols as a free agent. The Cardinals, of course, could always try to sign Pujols during their brief window of exclusivity after the season, but if they can't get anything done now, it's doubtful they could get something done then with the allure of free agency pounding on the door.

Right now, all eyes are on St. Louis. The clock is ticking.

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