The Cardinals expressed disappointment Wednesday that they couldn't reach an agreement on a new contract for Pujols, and Pujols' Camp issued a statement confirming that it has "suspended negotiation until after the conclusion of the 2011 season."
There was not much talking in the past several days, according to sources with knowledge of the talks. The Cardinals presented Pujols with an offer "around the first of the year", according to general manager John Mozeliak. Bill DeWitt Jr., chairman of the board, confirmed that the Cardinals used that as a basis as conversations evolved from there, discussing ways to tweak various parts of that deal without ever pulling it from the table and presenting a whole new offer.
Either way, it never achieved liftoff, and Wednesday's conclusion pretty much has been expected all week.
The Cardinals are determined to take another run at Pujols after the season. For now, Mozeliak and DeWitt said, they would respect Pujols' wish to not be bothered with contract talk during the season. However, if Camp Pujols were to change its mind and approach the Cardinals, Mozeliak said, the club is "always open for business."
Meanwhile, Mozeliak said Pujols will play his usual key role on the Cardinals' club this summer and that even with free agency looming, a pre-emptive strike by exploring possible trade paths is not on the team's radar.
"It is not," Mozeliak said. "It's not something we would either consider or do."
It should be noted that Pujols has full no-trade powers as a "10-and-5 man" -- 10 years in the majors, the past five with the same club.