The deadline for first baseman Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals to reach a new contract agreement passed Wednesday with no new deal. The Cardinals say no more talks will be held until the end of the season.
Pujols, a nine-time All-Star, is eligible for free agency after the World Series, raising the possibility the three-time NL MVP may be on the cusp of his final season in St. Louis. The two sides have not exchanged contract proposals in about four days, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, who first reported that talks had broken off. "While we are disappointed that we did not reach an agreement, we remain hopeful that Albert will finish his career in St. Louis," Cardinals chairman William DeWitt Jr. said in a statement.
The Cardinals said they made a "substantial, long-term offer," to no avail.
A source close to the negotiations told ESPN's Karl Ravech the biggest issue is not the number of years, but the amount of money the Cardinals offered. St. Louis' offer would place Pujols in baseball's top 10 in salary, but not in the top five in average annual salary, the source said.
Sources have previously told Olney that Pujols, who has the right to veto any trade, will not accept any trade going forward.