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Deadline set on Pujols contract talks

Feb. 14, 2011 at 7:30 PM

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A Wednesday deadline has been set on contract extension talks between slugger Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals, the team said.

Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak told reporters Monday that if talks on a new deal for Pujols hasn't been reached by then, the negotiations will come to an end and the first baseman will concentrate solely on baseball until the season is over.

Mozeliak said the deadline had been Tuesday, but was pushed back a day because Cardinals legend Stan Musial is to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House that day, MLB.com reported.

The Cards general manager, however, refused to characterize how negotiations to extend the contract of the game's best hitter are going.

"Obviously at some point we will discuss the whole process, but just given the timing of everything, we will just remain quiet at this time," he told the Web site.

If no deal is reached, Pujols will become a free agent following the season. St. Louis would hold exclusive negotiating rights from the end of the season until five days after the World Series.

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