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Albert Pujols Contract: Deadline Time Is 11 CST

I hate to bring up Deadline Time on this, the most wonderful time of the baseball preseason, but Albert Pujols’s stated end for contract negotiations comes due—after a brief Stan Musial Medal of Freedom Interlude—at 11 AM central time, unless another St. Louis Cardinals legend is awarded a presidential medal before that time.

This has been a long time coming; after last year’s abortive deal and the subsequent, suddenly familiar Spring Training closing of communication channels, the Cardinals and Pujols have never seemed especially close to a deal for two sides who appeared to have wanted each other more than they wanted negotiating leverage. Since then we’ve learned more than we cared to know about Dan Lozano and that if we could just go back in time and give Alex Rodriguez a seven year, $180 million contract, everything would be fine.

I remain convinced that the deadline isn’t really a deadline so much as an unsustainable play at negotiating leverage. But I wouldn’t want John Mozeliak to be convinced about it…