Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|Free agent Ian Desmond's next employers will be taking the chance his earlier performances, rather than his performance in 2015, will define the remainder of his career. There have been much larger free-agent gambles taken this offseason.
More»Heyman on Desmond to White Sox rumors, his status|
|The 2015 season was actually something of a bounceback year for offense. But that doesn't mean that the corner has been turned in what has become an era of increasing pitching dominance.
More» Davis blasts two homers against Blue Jays|
|In 2015 there were only two Major League teams that repeated as division winners. Don't count on a 6-for-6 performance by the current division champs in 2016, either.
More»Five-tool Cespedes is excited to be back with Mets|
|I am not sure when the designated hitter rule started to become a force for modernizing North American society.
More»Manfred discusses the possibility of a DH rule change|
|There are plenty of contending clubs that could use quality depth in their starting rotation. Therefore, there ought to be a market for Gallardo, even if it is not in the five-year, $75-million bracket that was once expected.
More» Gallardo tosses 8 1/3 scoreless innings|
|The preseason National League power rankings have an eight-way tie for first place. Fortunately, there will be time to thin out the crowd at the top. What is clear here is the quality of the competition. Some very good teams became better. Other very good teams did not suffer a drop-off.
More»Cespedes flashes his superior skills in the big city|
|In the battle for the NL East title -- and possibly more as October unfolds -- the Mets will have something that nobody else has. Given good health, that would be the starting rotation of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and eventually, Zack Wheeler. Nobody else will have Yoenis Cespedes, either. But the big difference-maker on this club will continue to be the one-of-a-kind pitching.
More»Mets' Matz and deGrom earn 'Toast of the Town' Award|
|A player speaking from the heart about wanting a trade so that he can be with a winning team may reflect not some sort of disloyalty, but a trait that made the player a Major Leaguer in the first place.
More»MLB Now reacts to Lucroy saying he hopes to be traded|
|The Minnesota Twins were a pleasant surprise last season. Nobody should be surprised if they become even better in 2016.
More» Miguel Sano, MIN, 3B/OF|
|Baseball's current prosperity is wide enough and deep enough to give many franchises a chance to compete for free agents, just as they can compete in the standings.
More»Gordon rejoins World Champs, agrees to four-year deal|
|This free-agent season has made run prevention the big-ticket item. Run creation is still waiting, in some prominent cases, for its turn at bat.
More»Free-agent outfielders Upton, Cespedes yet to sign|
|It may be a bit early to present the Team of the Century. But we can give you the early leader in that category for the 21st century.
More» Cardinals win 11th World Series title|
|There are 25 Major League teams conducting themselves as though they could win a championship this year. January is no time to tell any of them that they can't.
More»Dodgers' Friedman on Maeda, offseason, 2016 season|
|If you want a unanimous Hall of Fame election, the road toward that goal is clear: Make all the votes pubic.
More»Ken Griffey Jr. sets record on way to Cooperstown|
|The Hall of Fame electorate became younger and smaller. But its core values didn't really change. Some national commentators had promoted the notion that sweeping changes would be seen in the 2016 Hall of Fame voting. These changes would come about, the theory went, because the Hall was trimming some retired baseball writers from the list of eligible voters.
More»Hall of Fame elects Griffey Jr., Piazza for 2016|
|Mike Piazza's chances for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame are very good.
More»Analyzing Piazza's chances for HOF election in 2016|
|You can find tales of friendly Trevor Hoffman anecdotes from fans from coast to coast who had the chance to interact with the former closer. Hoffman has a strong candidacy for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But no matter what happens in that election, he can be seen as a Hall of Fame human being.
More»Hoffman included on 2016 Hall of Fame ballot|
|Building from the back of the bullpen is now the way to go. Look what it did for the Royals. The Yankees may now be on this course, with the acquisition of relief ace Aroldis Chapman.
More»Yankees acquire Chapman in trade with the Reds|
|The 2015 season was a truly memorable, in part because losing teams suddenly morphed into postseason teams. This is precisely the kind of thing that makes you eager to see what the 2016 season can do to top this.
More»Commissioner Manfred on the competitiveness in MLB|
|Reasonable people can agree that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were among the greatest baseball performers of their era. The logical capstone for great baseball careers is election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But neither Bonds nor Clemens has gathered anything resembling the necessary support in Hall of Fame elections.
More»Watch the 2016 Hall of Fame election on MLB Network|