Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|One aspect underlies Bud Selig and has informed each and every decision he has made in 22-plus years as Commissioner: He is a baseball fan. He loves the game.
More»Selig honored at Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame|
|The bottom line with 2015 Hall of Fame ballot is that there are more candidates with legitimate arguments for a place in Cooperstown than there are available votes on any given ballot. This is not a pleasant situation for the candidates who will be disappointed when the results are announced on Jan. 6.
More»Baseball's transcendent stars debut on '15 HOF ballot|
|Chicago baseball seems to have entered into an entirely new era. No pennants are won in December, but both Windy City clubs have made moves that can only be interpreted as major improvements. The Cubs have made the bigger splashes, but the White Sox have made wider improvements.
More»Samardzija, Cabrera and Robertson introduced as Sox|
|The Brewers Monday announced plans for a 1,400-square-foot exhibit inside Miller Park honoring Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig. The "Selig Experience" will be a suitable nod to a man who has meant so much to the sport and the city of Milwaukee.
More»Selig on Brewers' new fan expeirence|
|Baseball traditionalists are taking a beating this offseason. We miss the New York Yankees being, you know, really active in the free-agent, player-acquisition portions of life. It appears that the Chicago White Sox are playing the great-big-guy role of the Yankees this winter. And in the most notable case, that of Jon Lester, the part of the Yankees was played by the Chicago Cubs.
More»Girardi on Yankees' bullpen, losing Robertson|
|The Marlins' acquisitions of All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon and starter Mat Latos during the Winter Meetings -- just weeks after signing Giancarlo Stanton to a massive deal -- show Miami is committed to building a winner in the near future.
More»Marlins add Gordon, Haren via trade with Dodgers|
|With the Cubs' signing of Jon Lester, the 2015 version of the National League Central can safely be projected as a five-team race. The Cardinals' track record and pedigree suggest that they should still be the favorites. But every other team can offer a valid argument on behalf of its own chances.
More»Duquette, Morris optimistic of Cubs' future outlook|
|The Chicago Cubs became a more entertaining team the day that Joe Maddon was hired as manager. The crucial issue, of course, is whether he can help them become contenders. Maddon made his first appearance as Cubs manager before the Winter Meetings media on Tuesday to touch on a variety of topics.
More»Maddon, Lester talk hunting during their conversation|
|From almost every manager he played for, new Twins skipper Paul Molitor absorbed lessons on how the game should not only be played, but managed.
More»Molitor poised for success as new manager of Twins|
|Dick Kaegel, entering retirement after covering the Royals for MLB.com, doesn't talk much about himself, other than to tell humorous stories at his own expense. But the made a lifetime impression on everybody at this workplace, too, in the way he conducted himself on a daily basis for years.
More»Dick Kaegel on Ron Santo's Hall of Fame selection|
|In the current group of bidders, there is nowhere Jon Lester can go and be accused of simply selling out for the money. He already has two World Series rings with Boston. San Francisco wins everything in even-numbered years. And the Cubs are, it can safely be said, a growth stock, a team with a future that is more than vague promises. And nobody could argue with the Dodgers as a destination, either. They might be postseason underachievers, but their prospects are undeniable.
More»Gammons talks latest offseason news on High Heat|
|Jordan Zimmermann's only shortage is in the hype category. He has come to a place near the top of his profession with little hype and fanfare. Now, the righty is mentioned in trade rumors in part because anybody and everybody would like to have him in their rotation. But maybe he should be seen less in the category of trade material and more in the context of indispensable.
More»Ladson on Zimmermann's future with Nationals|
|The Jon Lester market has moved into the appropriate financial neighborhood. The Cubs have reportedly offered Lester a contract for more than $135 million over six years. It was not that long ago that the Red Sox appeared to be leading the race with an offer that was reported to be for $110 million-$120 million over six years.
More»Cubs reportedly make offer to Jon Lester|
|It is a good time to give thanks for labor peace in baseball. What was once a competition between labor and management now often looks much more like a partnership.
More»Commissioner Selig talks Marlins signing Stanton|
|Free-market economics are working out extremely well for Pablo Sandoval. The free-agent third baseman had three legitimate, lucrative offers for his services. That's as good of a starting point as one could hope for.
More»Ian Browne on Sox's deals with Hanley, Panda|
|With the Red Sox in high pursuit of Jon Lester and Pablo Sandoval, the club seems to view this offseason as a chance to reload and regroup and get back to where it once belonged.
More»No shortage of suitors for Jon Lester this offseason|
|As we speak, the most balanced, deepest and quite possibly toughest division in baseball is the National League Central. No other division can claim to have this much talent, established or youthful, spread throughout its five clubs.
More»Heyward looking forward to joining the Cardinals|
|Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, every team wants a bullpen just like the Kansas City Royals or the San Francisco Giants. The problem is, these bullpens aren't particularly available. But these World Series clubs underscored just how indisputably important relief pitchers have become in the contemporary game.
More» Affeldt earns win with scoreless relief|
|Signing one guy to an immense contract doesn't solve all of a franchise's problems. But signing the right guy to an immense contract could solve one set of problems for the Marlins. The right guy, in this case, would be outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.
More»Giancarlo Stanton and Miami Marlins talk extension|
|In the normal free-agency story, the questions are: Where is he going? And how much is he getting? These elements are obviously present with Max Scherzer. But in his case you also get the answer to another question that just won't go away: Was turning down that six-year, $144 million deal from the Tigers a smart move?
More» Scherzer whiffs nine over six innings|