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The Cardinals will try to lock up Pujols before Christmas

Albert Pujols

St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols yells at first base umpire Dan Bellino after Chicago Cubs’ Kosuke Fukudome scored on a throwing error by St. Louis Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson in the third inning during a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. Chicago won 7-3. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)


Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals have targeted December for Operation Sign Albert Pujols. Well, they may have a better name for it, but that’s what it is:

“Timing is important,” Mozeliak said. “We don’t want it to drag out this winter. I wouldn’t say it’s at a critical juncture right now, but I’d like to think between now and the Christmas holiday we’d start addressing it.”

He added that “next month may be a critical time.”

I can’t imagine the freaking out we’ll see among Cardinals fans if they don’t get Pujols signed before spring training, and I can’t think of a way to consider such an occurrence other than as an unmitigated disaster. I mean, it’s not like they could trade the guy if things go sideways, what with his 10 and 5 rights. If it’s not done by early-to-mid February, he’s almost certainly going to become a free agent at the close of next season.