Pujols' representatives reportedly met with the Cardinals on Tuesday night during baseball's annual General Managers Meetings in Milwaukee, a few days after Pujols' camp visited the Miami Marlins. Meanwhile, one St. Louis media member tweeted that an announcement of a deal between Pujols and the Cardinals was imminent, but the club immediately shot that down.
J.C. Corcoran, a St. Louis radio personality, wrote on his personal Twitter account Wednesday that Pujols would "announce on Friday he's re-signing with the Cardinals." ESPN's Chris Singleton tweeted something similar a few minutes later, though it was unclear whether he was referring to Corcoran's tweet or going off other information.
General manager John Mozeliak poured cold water on any notion of a quick resolution to the Pujols talks, though. Reached by MLB.com to comment on Corcoran's claim, Mozeliak had a three-word email response: "No truth, zero."
A club spokesman seconded that, writing that the "team is on record that 'there is currently no deal in place for Pujols.'"
Still, there has clearly been some movement. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and USA Today both reported that the Cardinals and Dan Lozano, Pujols' agent, spoke Tuesday. That would be the first in-person meeting between the parties since February, when Pujols broke off negotiations at the start of Spring Training.
The Post-Dispatch wrote that the Cardinals were "believed to have modified" the offer they made to Pujols last winter. That offer was reported to be in the neighborhood of $200 million over nine years, an average of $22 million to $23 million per season.
The Marlins made an offer to Pujols when he visited Miami, but it's unclear how substantial it was. Yahoo! Sports reported that the offer covered nine years, but SI.com reported that it was "extremely light" on dollars relative to what St. Louis has offered.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals also pondered other plans as the winter goes on. With its manager and coaching staff settled, the club's full attention can be on building its 2012 roster. Needs remain in the bullpen, middle infield and bench.
And if Pujols signs somewhere other than St. Louis, it appears that's where the club's dollars will go -- not to another first baseman. Mozeliak told MLB.com on Tuesday that the Cardinals do not anticipate pursuing Prince Fielder if Pujols signs elsewhere.
"I wouldn't envision that, given the makeup of our club, with [Matt] Holliday, [Lance] Berkman and [Allen] Craig," Mozeliak said. "It would allow us to give someone younger more at-bats there. Our hope is to find a way to keep Albert."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.