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At least one GM thinks Cards will reach deal with Pujols

Feb 13, 2011, 8:55 AM EDT

Albert Pujols

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols will arrive at spring camp in Jupiter, Florida on Wednesday and has informed the club that he wants all talks regarding a contract extension to cease once he unpacks his things. The clock isn’t ticking, it’s screaming.

If you kept up with the story last week, it was all about doom and gloom. In fact, SI.com’s Jon Heyman said at one point that the Cardinals have “virtually no chance” of reaching a long-term contract extension by Pujols’ self-imposed deadline.

That might be the case, but at least one baseball executive believes that a deal will get done. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke Saturday with a “general manager in a larger market,” who had little doubt that the two sides would eventually reach an agreement, no matter if it makes business sense or not:

“What will happen is, they’ll get it done,” said the unnamed general manager.” The Cardinals aren’t a small-market team, so they’re in that area where they probably have to do it because not doing it would create chaos and possible loss of revenue. But once in a while, you do something bold and think outside the box.’’

Pujols’ representatives and the members of the Cardinals’ front office have done an admirable job of keeping information about the course of the negotiations out of the media, so no one can really say for sure whether it’s going to get done. Albert is thought to have a 10-year, $275 million contract on his mind. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are reportedly trying to keep the extension to six or seven years. There is not much time left for the two sides to find a middle ground.

  1. Jonny 5 - Feb 13, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    I’m with the unnamed GM on this.

  2. Jonny 5 - Feb 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Probably like 4 other Gm’s are kicking all kinds of tires in St louis right now.You know “tires not named Albert” I’d bet Albert already has a good contract lined up to stay.

  3. hellmaca - Feb 13, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Why does everybody keep saying this? He is basically 3 days away from becoming a free agent.

    • paperlions - Feb 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      GMs keep saying this because they understand that such artificial deadlines are designed for one thing, to create leverage.
      .
      They also understand that it would be foolish of Pujols (and his agent) to ignore any overtures/offers made during the season, and they know that there will be an exclusive negotiating period for StL between the end of the season and the beginning of the FA signing period.
      .
      They also understand that Pujols will create more distractions by not being signed (regardless of whether or not negotiations are ongoing) during the season than by being signed, whether that happens before Wednesday, during spring training, or during the season.
      .
      As a Cardinal fan, I’m nervous. We have a lot to lose if Pujols leaves. Of course other fans couldn’t care less, they have nothing to lose and only potential gain if Pujols leaves….if he stays in StL, things are not better or worse for other teams.

      • bigharold - Feb 13, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        “Of course other fans couldn’t care less, they have nothing to lose and only potential gain if Pujols leaves…”

        Actually I think most fans do care. Sure, who wouldn’t want Pujols in their line up. But, it’s important that other teams, and thereby their fans, have their iconic players. Pujols signing with the Cards is important in the same vein as Mauer signing with the Twins.

        I think in the end the odds are better than 50-50 that Pujols signs with the Cards. That is the outcome that is best for both on many different levels. Both will need to give obviously but at some point this monumental game of chicken will come to an end.

        But, if he gets as far as free agency then the Cards don’t stand a chance. If he gets that far there will be some many other teams involved and so much acrimony between him and the Cards that it will be virtually impossible for him to remain a Cardinal. Then, I think he’ll end up in the AL because of the DH option. And, I think the Yankees or Angels will be his eventual landing place.

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