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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 12/07/2011

Report: Albert Pujols gets 10-year, $220 million offer from Cardinals


Albert is all ears as his new contract offers continue to escalate. (Tony Gutierrez - AP)

The St. Louis Cardinals were not going to sit idly by and watch the suddenly-high-rolling Miami Marlins snatch up one of the best players in franchise history.

Not just over one month after winning after winning their 11th World Series title, with nine-time All-Star Albert Pujols playing a critical role.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Red Birds’ offer could reach $220 million over 10 seasons — one-upping Miami’s offer of over $200 million for the same timespan.

Both teams are said to be pressuring Pujols and agent Dan Lozano to agree to terms as soon as possible, but the magnitude of the decision has the 31-year-old first baseman considering his options.

With the Marlins pushing the pace of the negotiations, the Cardinals appear to be playing catch-up.

“In this situation we’re participants,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “We’re not dictating anything.”

And as you might expect, the Cardinals and Marlins are not the only teams in on the Pujols contract talks.

New Cubs general manager Theo Epstein confirmed reports that the team has spoken to Lozano, and now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have emerged as a darkhorse in the Pujols sweepstakes.

At the moment, the Angels rumors appear to be just that, with Foxsports.com reporting late Tuesday night that the team had entered the mix but a person with direct knowledge of the Pujols contract talks telling the Los Angeles Times that L.A. is not pursuing him.

But the Angels haven’t shied away from offering free agent stars massive contracts in the past. They did it with Mark Teixeira (2009) and Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre (2010), all of whom signed with other teams.

Will Pujols accept a new deal from the Cards after rejecting their offer of $198-205 million over nine years back in January? Or is the prospect of playing with a revitalized Marlins franchise in South Beach too intriguing to pass up?

Whatever offer Pujols chooses to accept, those close to the situation expect him to do so within the next 24 hours. And when that happens, those who lost out on him (and a host of others) will turn their attention to the other big-name slugger on the market: Prince Fielder. So stay tuned...

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Early Lead: Report: Albert Pujols gets 10-year contract offer from Marlins

Pujols contract talks take center stage at winter meetings

Miami Marlins trying to add Pujols to already-impressive free agent haul

Marlins become big players in free-agent market

By  |  10:34 AM ET, 12/07/2011

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