Posted on: February 14, 2011 11:37 am
Edited on: February 14, 2011 1:49 pm

Pujols' deadline pushed back a day

Albert Pujols We now have an exact time for the Albertgeddon -- noon on Wednesday.

Because Cardinals legend Stan Musial will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday in Washington, the Cardinals proposed Albert Pujols postpone his deadline from Tuesday to Wednesday. Pujols agreed, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets .

Still, it's unlikely Pujols agrees to a long-term deal in the next 48 hours.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 13, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 1:50 pm

La Russa opens up on Pujols negotiations

Tony La Russa Neither the Cardinals upper management nor their superstar are talking much about Albert Pujols' Wednesday deadline for a new contract -- but manager Tony La Russa went right at the issue on Sunday, the day Cardinals pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter, Fla.

Here are some of the highlights, courtesy Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch :

• "We need to prove we're good enough. This is a spectacular distraction potentially. We won't allow it to be. But it's going to be a spectacular excuse if we don't play well. I'm just concerned about us getting ready and proving we're good enough."

• "I keep hearing this thing about distractions. You allow yourself to be distracted. We're not going to allow ourselves to get distracted, which means there are going to be a lot of non-answers. Hopefully, the players will do the same. It's not what we're here for."

• (On comparisons to Mark McGwire in his first year as hitting coach last spring): It's not the same, obviously, but it's a good example about something here that could have been a distraction that ended up getting taken care of. It was definitely the way Mark handled it. But you choose what you want to think about. The fact is we're here to get ourselves ready to be as good as we can be. Anything that gets in the way of that... our mission is to not let it happen. In this case it's Albert. He's at a point in his career where he's got a choice to make.

"I know Albert. He's as strong between the ears as anybody I've ever met."

• La Russa said the players' union is trying to influence the situation: "The pressure that a high profile player receives from the union and his representatives to push for the last dollar, neglecting anything else about that decision -- type of organization, loyalty, all that stuff. I don't think that's a real healthy part of our game. The union is out there for their players to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

The last bit is a smart move by one of baseball's smartest men -- it's a lawyer trick, the public wants a black hat and La Russa knows it doesn't help for anyone to see his bosses or his best player as the bad guy in any negotiation. The easiest target, especially in this economic climate, is the agents and players' union who are asking for players to get paid more while the public sees players as overpaid anyway.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 13, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 1:50 pm

Pujols drama gearing up as deadline looms

Albert Pujols The Cardinals' pitchers and catchers report today, but the big day in St. Louis (or, well, Jupiter, Fla.) will be Wednesday -- Albert Pujols' deadline for a new contract.

Of course, what the exact zero hour for Pujols' end to contract talks isn't exactly clear, general manager John Mozeliak told MLB.com's Matthew Leach .

"Honest I don't know at the moment," Mozeliak said. "I'll know when I need to know."

Beyond that, Mozeliak said he won't talk about Pujols' contract talks until at least Tuesday, but will likely talk on Wednesday.

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , the team doesn't what to give more than seven years to Pujols, Strauss also notes the Cardinals had not "tendered an offer as of early next week," but are expected to give an offer closer to the deadline.

Even if Pujols does become a free agent after this season, the Cardinals would be considered the front-runner to retain his services. At least one American League general manager agrees, telling Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe , "What will happen is, they'll get it done. The Cardinals aren't a small-market team, so they're in that area where they probably have to do it because not doing it would create chaos and possible loss of revenue."

Of course, then there's what the New York Post 's Joel Sherman calls the Cardinals' "nightmare scenario" -- Pujols signing with the Cubs. An American League executive tells Sherman that Pujols "would be to the Cubs what [Barry] Bonds was to the Giants, but with a nicer face and nine games a year at Busch Stadium."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com