Something that is being lost in this whole contract extension mess is that even if a deal isn't reached by the deadline, Albert Pujols still has one-year left on his contract. No matter what happens, the Cardinals are still guaranteed one year of Pujols. It isn't very comforting, but it's not like he has to clean his locker out tomorrow afternoon. And Tony La Russa knows that no matter what, he can expect the best from Albert, according to the Associated Press.
"I can't feel better about Albert if he was on a day-to-day contract or a 10-year contract," the 66-year-old La Russa said. "He's got too much pride, he's too committed.
"No matter what happens, Albert will be Albert, and thank goodness for that," he said.
That's the good news. The Cardinals still have the best player in the game for at least one more year. But it isn't as happy an ending as it would be if a contract was reached. Like we've said a number of times, just because the deadline passes doesn't mean that there is no shot Pujols plays in St. Louis beyond this season. He can still decide to listen to extension talks during the season, and he could even sign with the team after the season in an exclusive negotiating period that follows the World Series. Albert Pujols probably won't sign an extension with the Cardinals today, but it is important to remember that it isn't his last chance to do so.