Albert Pujols: When Will the St. Louis Cardinals Get This Deal Done?

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IJanuary 4, 2011

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 21:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on September 21, 2010 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Now entering the cold month of January and with February just a month away, we find ourselves talking more about the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in the early month of February to prepare and get into playing shape for Grapefruit League play in March, then on to a long 162-game season.

There are still a few roster signings, although position availability will be scarce as of the start of the 2011 season. The Cards roster looks set, with very little opening for rookies and bench players that are looking for an ever day starters role on opening day.

Albert Pujols will be one of the Cardinals' top signing priorities as the teams head to Jupiter, Florida.

Pujols' contract is up at the end of the 2011 campaign, so we are expecting a contract signing before spring training or if not, sometime this fall, as Pujols has refused to negotiate a contract during the season in the past.

We do suspect the two sides are talking, but nothing has yet been put to pen and paper.

The two sides have kept negotiation private up to this point and we can only speculate as too what kind of contract, if any will be signed.

There are many questions as to how many years and how much money will be dished out. I would be very surprised if he signs for less then the $17 million per year that Matt Holiday is making now.

Would it be crazy to speculate that he could get $30 million a year? And for how many years: Five? Six? Maybe seven?

The Cardinals' payroll, which was around a $100 million last season, will possibly increase to well over a $100 million this season when Pujols is finally signed.

Will the Cards be able to sign the three-time MVP, two-time Hank Aaron winner, six-time Silver Slugger and two-time Rawlings Gold Glove winner? We shall soon find out in the coming weeks; if not, it will be at season's end.