“I would imagine they’re talking on a daily basis,” says Bob Lattinville who is a St. Louis sports attorney with some experience representing Cardinal sluggers like Mark McGwire.

Lattinville says contract talks with marquee players like Pujols are really more about problem solving than a battle of wills. With so many zeroes in play, he says both sides have to find creative ways besides money to reach an agreement.

“With experienced guys, experienced negotiators that are on both sides of the table, I’m confident that even though it’s an emotion packed event they don’t have to be disagreeable to disagree,” says Lattinville. “So, I’m sure emotions run high but I would doubt that there is any fist pounding or yelling across the table.”

And Lattinville says, for sports agents the selling doesn’t stop with the team – players may need convincing, too.

“Managing their expectations is important, too. Because, if you’re having this discussion with the New York Yankees it’s a little bit different in terms of their balance sheet as opposed to the Cardinals,” he says.

Lattinville says he’s hopeful but not counting on a contract deal before Pujols begins spring training but adds that deadlines are usually what it takes to get two sides together.

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