Heyman says Pujols' people want something comparable to Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275 million deal, while the Cards would like to keep it to six or seven years for the 31-year-old.
The passing of the February 16 date wouldn't mean the end of Pujols in St. Louis, but it would set up an uncertain summer for Cardinals fans. For his part, CBSSports.com columnist Scott Miller thinks someday, some way, the deal will get done for Pujols to remain a Cardinal.
UPDATE: A good reminder from Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that the Cardinals will have exclusive negotiating rights with Pujols from the end of the team's season until five days after the end of the World Series. So it's not like he gets thrown into open free agency automatically if the Feb. 16 date passes.
-- David Andriesen