Cards’ Pujols sheds no light on contract talks

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Pujols led the National League with 42 homers last season and won his first league RBIs title with 118. He also tied Matt Holliday for the team batting lead at .312.

“If the Cardinals want to say something in the paper and talk about our business, then they can say something,” Pujols said. “Myself I think I’m more professional than that.

“If we want to get something done, we’ll get it done and everybody’s going to know when we get it done.”

No deal by the start of spring training would not necessarily mean Pujols will be moving on. The Cardinals could sign him after next season and DeWitt expressed confidence that Pujols would not let it affect him on the field.

“If we don’t sign him in the next four weeks, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a Cardinal,” DeWitt said. “We’d love to sign him tomorrow, or whenever.”

Pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 13 with the first workout the following day. The full squad is due into camp by Feb. 18.

“Obviously it’s something the organization probably doesn’t want hanging for the whole season,” Berkman said. “Clearly you’re talking about the best player in baseball, probably the best hitter in the history of baseball.

“I’m not sure how you go about taming that tiger.”

Pujols noted that speculation regarding his future, and whether the Cardinals are willing to pay top dollar for the three-time NL MVP, has been swirling for several years. The Cardinals have four other players making more than $10 million a year in outfielder Holliday and pitchers Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Kyle Lohse.

“You guys have the opportunity to be writing about this over the last two years,” Pujols said. “So what else is there to say? I think everybody knows I want to be a Cardinals and what else is there to say?”

The three-time NL MVP, who turned 31 on Sunday, has played his entire 10-year career in St. Louis. Pujols was to be honored as co-man of the year along with Wainwright at Sunday night’s dinner for the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Pujols says he’s in better shape than in recent seasons when he was hindered by injuries, and excited about the changes the team has made. Pujols underwent surgery on his right elbow after the 2008 and ‘09 seasons.

“I feel great,” Pujols said. “Hopefully I can stay healthy all year.”

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