Talks between Cards and Pujols not moving at all?

St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols enters the dugout to high fives after hitting his 31st home run of the season, a solo home run, in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 17, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, contract extension talks between the Cardinals and Albert Pujols are not moving at all.


Olney suspects that Pujols is seeking a “Mt. Everest” contract — something similar to the 10-year, $275 million pact that Alex Rodriguez is currently operating under with the Yankees. As baseball’s best hitter, Albert has no real reason to budge from that asking price because he could probably have it met as a free agent next winter. But the Cards are obviously having trouble justifying such a lofty commitment. The club’s payroll rarely tops $100 million in a given year. Pujols wants talks to cease once spring training opens.

There’s really nothing more to say about this situation that hasn’t already been said. Pujols has put the kabosh on the Cardinals trading him, so he’s left the team with only two options: either pony up and pay him or let him walk after the 2011 season. I get that they don’t want to raise their payroll, but what else are they going to do at this point?

I have the sinking suspicion that the Cardinals never intended to pay him what he wanted or, at the very least, hoped he would take a massive home town discount. I wonder if the plan all along was to lowball him to make the fans think they tried to re-sign him and he just wanted too much money, then trade him at the deadline. For St. Louis’ fans’ sake, I hope I’m wrong and they pony up before spring training. But the prospect of him staying in St. Louis beyond this season don’t look good right now.

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