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Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals Talk At Winter Meetings

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It's not quite the contract we're looking for, but Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals have begun talking at this week's MLB Winter Meetings, albeit in the least-confident way imaginable: Right now they're more or less talking about talking, with General Manager John Mozeliak and agent Dan Lozano meeting as a "precursor to negotiations."

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I can't imagine imagine how any such precursor should last very long—Lozano knows the Cardinals want Albert Pujols, and the Cardinals know Lozano knows that. But this means we're one step closer to getting some enormous number at which to gawk, and I, for one, am ready to get the sticker shock over with. I know it's going to be terrifying; I know the Cardinals are going to be paying Albert Pujols more than any other player on the team until he's 46 years old; but the not knowing? That's even worse. Okay, nearly as bad, maybe.

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Citing Jayson Werth's contract as precedent I'm told Lozano is telling teams that any future offer will have to counter the Washington Nationals' initial play of 50 years, $572 trillion (with a team option worth an estimated $25 million.)