Pujols deadline passes with no deal announced

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“We don’t want to get our minds cluttered as a team,” La Russa said. “There’s enough to do. … The competition in the Central and the National League has got our complete attention. And that’s just what we’re going to think about. You can choose what you think about. That’s what we’re going to think about.”

General manager John Mozeliak has said it’s not necessary that a deal be signed by noon Wednesday, but the sides would need to have agreed to terms. Mozeliak was planning to speak about the negotiations Wednesday afternoon, team officials said.

Pujols, a nine-time All-Star, is the only player in major league history to hit 30 or more home runs each of his first 10 seasons _ all coming with the Cardinals, the franchise he has said in the past he wants to remain with for the rest of his career.

He has a .331 career batting average and averaged 41 homers and 123 RBIs. He’s also won six Silver Slugger Awards and two Gold Gloves.

Last year he batted .312 with 42 homers and 118 RBIs and finished second in MVP balloting.

“I don’t think there’s a better guy for us to have on the team,” Cardinals second baseman Skip Schumaker said. “He’s the face of the franchise. You respect both sides of it. You respect what the Cardinals are doing, you respect the management and what Albert’s agent is doing. It’s a tough situation, as everybody knows. He’s an iconic player.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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