SI.com: Pujols' uncertain future with Cardinals
The 2011 season may be Albert Pujols' last one in a Cardinals' uniform.
February 16th, 2011
01:42 PM ET

SI.com: Pujols' uncertain future with Cardinals

Albert Pujols will be a St. Louis Cardinal in 2011. After that is anybody’s guess.

Yet another deadline passed Wednesday when Pujols and the Cardinals failed to reach a contract extension before their mutually agreed-upon noon Eastern deadline. The two sides had extended negotiations, hoping to reach a last-minute deal, but failed to settle on terms.

Now, contract talks between the three-time MVP and the Cards will be broken off until the fall as the slugger has repeatedly said he does not want his deal to be a distraction during the season.

Discussions between St. Louis and Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, had been heating up in recent weeks. SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that the Cards offered Pujols an eight-year deal in excess of $200 million.

According to Heyman’s sources, Pujols, 31, is seeking a greater deal than Alex Rodriguez’s record 10-year, $275 million contract signed in 2008. It’s not clear whether the length of the deal or the money is holding up the Pujols deal.

Pujols has a no-trade clause and is unlikely to go anywhere during the upcoming season but could presumptively go anywhere once it's over. The consensus best player in baseball will be a free agent and probably will have every team in baseball expressing some degree of interest in landing his talents.

Despite not reaching a deal, the nine-time All-Star will still report to Jupiter, Florida, on Thursday and join his teammates for the first day of spring training. The Cardinals are hoping to be a contender with Pujols in 2011, but without a deal, a cloud of uncertainty could disrupt their season.

Here’s what to watch tonight (all times Eastern):

Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks (9 p.m., ESPN): Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets, who have dropped four of five, play their final game before the All-Star break when they take on the Bucks. Denver has until February 24 to deal 'Melo or stick with him the rest of the year.

No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 11 Purdue  (6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network): After knocking off No. 1 Ohio State, the Badgers face the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Indiana, where they have won only twice in 40 years.

By the numbers

31: Points scored during the first half by Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat’s 110-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, tying a franchise record. Wade finished with 41.

39: Age of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who retired from professional cycling for the second time Wednesday.

$23 million: Colts quarterback Peyton Manning’s potential 2011 salary after Indianapolis placed the franchise tag on the four-time MVP. The Colts placed the franchise tag on Manning in 2004 before reaching a record seven-year, $98 million deal.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Bizprof

    The talk on Mike and Mike this morning was that the Gonzalez deal was a 6 standard deviation outlier and that it was a mistake. And if it was, then giving Pujols this money is a mistake as well. Pujols and Gonzalez have very similar stats over a 10 year period and Gonzalez made a lot more money. But there is no doubt that his production has fallen off and the Yankees are not getting their money's worth in these last years. The same is likely to be true for Pujols. 8 years at $30+ will still be the record per year. Asking for 10 years is asking to be a free agent.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scottish Mama

    They say other stadium make more money than Busch Stadium. If they let Pujols go, does that mean our tickets will get cheaper? Pujols has been injured the past couple of years. How can anyone pay that far in advance for an aging athlete? Now if he wants to go on 1 or 2 year deal, maybe.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobby hugo

    I say get the money while you can albert. I don't like to hear a working man say about another working man you make too much money.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |