If Albert Pujols was looking for more incentive to have a monster season in 2011, he may be about to find it.
He and the St. Louis Cardinals remain far apart on a contract extension, and Pujols said he would not discuss it beyond Feb. 19, when he reports for spring training.
If Pujols actually makes it to market, he will be the most sought-after free agent in baseball history. He might well earn in excess of $30 million per season, perhaps for as many as 10 seasons.
To maximize his potential free-agent value, though, Pujols might want to make it clear that he is still very much in his prime by winning what would be his fourth NL MVP award.
He is not alone in trying to make a big statement this season. Read on for five guys who could win each of MLB's major awards in 2011.