- Associated Press - Thursday, February 17, 2011

JUPITER, FLA. (AP) - Hours after the deadline for reaching a new contract agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals passed, Albert Pujols says he hopes to reopen talks with the team once the season is over.

Pujols, who can become a free agent after the season, said in a statement late Wednesday night that the path that the negotiations have taken will not have an affect on his relationship with Cardinals management.

The three-time NL MVP was expected to arrive at the Cardinals‘ complex sometime Thursday and he said he is now focused on winning a World Series title.

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

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