(KMOV.com) -- Spring training is just days away and Cardinal fans couldn't be more torn. The excitement of another season is tempered by the contract standoff between Albert Pujols and the team. Will this be Albert's final spring in Jupiter? Just how concerned should fans be about the contract negotiations between the Cards and Albert Pujols? Cardinal bloggers share their thoughts.
Cardinal fans should not be overly concerned right now. Something good is going to come out of this Pujols situation regardless. I like to look at it as a win/win situation for the team. They sign him and lock him up and we can enjoy the best player in baseball for years to come. If they decide to pass and go separate ways, the team should have plenty of money to reload the team in other areas. I truly hope Pujols stays a Cardinal for life - but if he doesn't be sure to see the positives in that as well.
Ryan Knuppel, CardinalsGM.com
It is only natural to be concerned about the big picture issue of Pujols signing, but to agonize over every rumor, as some are doing, is going over the top. Those who have already decided Pujols is greedy or are convinced ownership are stupid lack an appreciation for the magnitude of the effort. These are complex negotiations with record amounts of money likely on the table and take time to play out.
Sadly, if the deal isn’t done this spring, there will be in-season distractions despite everyone insisting there will not. In other words, without an agreement, the noise level will only increase.
Brian Walton, Thecardinalnationblog.com
I'd say that fans should be much more nervous than they would have been three months ago. It's tough to know what is true and what is made up in the talks since both sides are being mum, but the Cardinals don't appear to be coming at this at the level of urgency that one would expect. I still think a deal gets done, but I'm less confident than I used to be.
Daniel Shoptaw, C70 At The Bat
If what's being reported is true and Pujols & Co. and the Cardinals are not even in the same ballpark money-wise or year-wise, Cardinals fans have definite right to be concerned. I figured early last year that Pujols was going to ask for the biggest contract in major league history. Anyone with two eyes could see that coming. Combined with the fact that he always qualifies the statement of his desire to remain a Cardinal for the rest of his career with an "it's not up to me" or similar statement, I feel his desire to remain a Cardinal is not as great as his desire to get paid.
I think Albert is very ready and willing to test free agency and even wants to. Pujols & Co. have the upper hand and the pressure is heavily on management. It's not over until Pujols presses the pen to paper on a contract with another team, but unless Albert is simply curious about how much would be offered on the open marketing (not likely), I don't see the Cardinals winning in free agency. Too many teams with deeper pockets and too many teams willing to break their budget to make an offer too.
Jon Doble, RedbirdDugout.com