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Albert Pujols, Cardinals Far Apart In Contract Extension Talks

The St. Louis Cardinals and slugger Albert Pujols, arguably the majors’ best player, are no closer to reaching a contract extension agreement before Pujol’s self-imposed Feb. 16 deadline, reports John Heyman of Sports Illustrated, casting doubt over Pujols’ future as a Cardinal and, in turn, St. Louis’ status as a World Series contender. The sides are far apart in contract negotiations, says Heyman, citing sources around Major League Baseball:

Not only are the Cardinals and their superstar not even on the same page, they’re not even reading the same book. One person, not involved in the negotiations, said he heard the sides were so far apart they were “speaking two different languages.”

Though Pujols can’t become a free agent for another nine months, as Heyman notes, it’s worth noting he and the Cardinals have yet to come up with a mutually beneficial agreement. Pujols wants a deal similar to the 10-year, $275 million one Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees in 2007, while the Cardinals, says Heyman, “have seemed to want to keep the contract to six years, or perhaps seven, at the outset of the talks.”

In his 10-year career, spent entirely with St. Louis, Pujols has hit for a .331 average, belted 402 homers, and knocked in 1230 runs. His career also includes a Rookie of the Year award, three Most Valuable Player awards, nine All-Star appearances, and one World Series win.