Saint Louis (STLToday.com) - The Cardinals have wasted little time addressing their most pressing New Year's resolution: tying up Albert Pujols.
Negotiations between the club and Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, resumed this week and have taken on a "positive" tone, according to several sources familiar with the process.
Those sources wish to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of discussions and a December agreement between general manager John Mozeliak and Lozano to keep talks confidential.
This much is known: the Cardinals are attaching significantly more urgency to negotiating a potential record extension with Pujols prior to his arrival at spring training than last February.
The three-time NL MVP has stated he will not negotiate once he reports to Jupiter, Fla., to begin his 12th season with the organization. The Cardinals reopened their front offices on Tuesday; Pujols likewise has returned to St. Louis after a flurry of travel.
Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. pledged during last month's Winter Meetings that the club would address Pujols' contract status in the weeks between Christmas and camp's opening. Mozeliak and Lozano met twice at last month's meetings in Orlando, Fla., but did not exchange parameters.
It remains unclear how much momentum talks so far have achieved but multiple sources insist the matter is well beyond any framework discussed during last February's aborted discussions.
Pujols has not discussed his status with local media since last season. He is scheduled to appear at the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up on Jan. 16 and will be honored that night during the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America's annual dinner at the downtown Millennium Hotel.