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Cards & Pujols Enter Crunch Time on Contract

Brad Choat
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UPI/Bill Greenblatt

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Cardinals general manager confirms to KMOX that Wednesday is the likely day the team will publicly address the status of contract negotations with Albert Pujols — if a deal isn’t finalized by then.

John Mozeliak says Pujols and his agent are the ones who said talks would break off once the slugger reports to Spring Training this week, “It’s not our deadline and we’re trying to be respectful of the process. If that ends up being when we decide we’ll wrap things up, then yeah—I think if we don’t have a deal, there’s no reason to prolong things (a blackout on discussing negotiations).”

Mozeliak was Ron Jacober’s guest on his “Sports on a Sunday Morning” show.

Pujols is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2011 season, if no extension is reached.

Jacober asked Mozeliak if there’s any merit to outfielder Matt Holliday offering to defer some of his salary to help the team sign Pujols. Mozeliak said, “I did hear about it. I have not been contacted by him. I don’t know how relevant that is in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish. But, I guess it’s a nice thing to say.”

Cardinals pitchers and catchers begin Spring Training workouts on Monday.

Position players report later.

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