Cardinals’ first basemen Albert Pujols is set to arrive in Jupiter, FL for the start of spring training a week from today, February 16th. That date will then be the deadline for the Cardinals and his agent to work out a contract extension.
Pujols set the deadline of spring training because he doesn’t want his agent Dan Lozano working through his contract while he is playing, which is nothing new for Pujols.
This doesn’t leave much time for a deal to get worked out. Earlier this week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was reporting that their sources are saying both sides are talking but are not close to any parameters of a deal. Pujols has also stated he would veto any trade which leaves two options.
The first is that the team works out a deal with Lozano for Pujols by next week or Pujols will become a free agent after the season.
The one positive is that both sides are staying out of the media otherwise this could turn ugly if either side tried drumming up support through the public. It’s possible that within the week, both sides could make considerable progress that would allow extra time through spring training to put the finishing details on the deal.