4 difficult decisions for the St. Louis Cardinals before Spring Training ends

Spring Training is a time for decisions. These four decisions will be at the forefront of the St. Louis Cardinals' final offseason phase.

St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Spring Training is a time for players to get their game ready for the season, it's a time for coaches to instruct players, it's a time for management and front office staff to finalize the roster, and it's a time for fans to get up close and personal with their favorite players. For as much optimism as the spring circuit induces, there is a proportional amount of questioning and inquisitive pundits looking for answers.

The St. Louis Cardinals' roster is mostly set in stone; the rotation, starting nine, and the bulk of the bullpen were solved via trades and acquisitions this offseason. There are a few spots that have open competitions during the next month or so, but by and large, the team's 26-man roster is settled. However, that doesn't mean Cardinals' camp is without difficult decisions.

Here are 4 challenging decisions that must be made before the St. Louis Cardinals break camp and head west to Los Angeles to start the season.

Decision #1: The extension(s) dilemma

After extensions were given out to Milwaukee Brewers' Jackson Chourio, Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr., and Detroit Tigers' Colt Keith this offseason, Cardinal fans were wondering if some of their own players, both young and old, would receive long-term deals to stay in St. Louis.

One player has received plenty of press this offseason regarding his contract extension, and his name is Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy's 5-year, $130 million deal he signed a few years ago expires at the end of this season. While a contract extension isn't on his mind, it surely is on the minds of John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch. Extending Paul Goldschmidt would maintain constancy at the first base position for at least two more years.

Other extension conversations have revolved around players such as Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman, and Brendan Donovan. These young players have plenty of arbitration years left, but a contract extension at this point in their careers could keep them in St. Louis for anywhere between 5 and 8 years. They are the young core of the organization, and seeing other teams in the majors grant massive paydays to players who haven't seen an inning of professional baseball has led fans to believe that Walker, Gorman, or Donovan could ink long-term deals soon.