Albert Pujols began negotiations with the Cardinals for a long-term contract over a month ago, yet the two sides appear no closer to agreeing to a deal today as they were back then. And according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this has left Pujols feeling disappointed with the process.
DeWitt has maintained that he believes the window for negotiations could remain open through spring training. However, implementation of the deadline in the first place probably reflected growing frustration by Lozano and his client about the virtual absence of negotiations last spring training and earlier this winter.
At his client’s urging, Lozano has offered little public comment during the last 11 months about the process. However, that hasn’t prevented sources close to Team Pujols from noting the first baseman’s disappointment over a process that has never reached high gear.
As an outsider, it feels like the Cardinals are dragging their feet. Maybe they’re hoping that the longer they wait, Pujols will eventually accept a “discount” to stay in St. Louis. But as it stands right now, Pujols’ camp has stayed steadfast in saying they want a deal similar to A-Rod’s 10-year, $275 million contract or the best player in baseball will test the free agency market in 2012.
This situation is complicated but the decision is rather clear-cut. Either the Cardinals pony up and pay Pujols one of the richest contracts in baseball history or they allow him to walk and face intense public scrutiny. There aren’t any other options as the situation current stands, because Pujols has already put the kibosh on any potential trade.