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Pujols Countdown: 8 Days?

ESPN has just reported that Albert Pujols has moved up his planned arrival date at spring training from Feb. 19 to Feb. 16, taking a nice bite out of the time the club has to clean up its mess.

That's going to be a good trick since, according to a Yahoo Sports story published earlier today, the Redbirds have not yet even made a firm offer to the best player in Baseball.

This begs the question as to what has been going on in the last month of "negotiations." Because it sure doesn't seem that there has been any actual negotiating.

Based on the few crumbs of information that have seeped out so far, it seems like the Cardinals plan to make a one-shot offer at Pujols. At least that's what I am hoping since last season they shrank away from the table without making any offer at all, irking Albert and his people in a profound and un-necessary way.

According to the Yahoo story, an unidentified agent said Pujols might fetch as much as $36 million a season for eight years if he hits the open market.

About the only chance I think the Birds have to retain him at this point is if they have been spending the last month feverishly working out a complex formula that will allow the club to pay him as much as possible. Then they need to pray that he takes it.

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