Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|Robinson Cano's performance on the field has set him up for a monster payday in free agency this offseason. But external forces are not only arguing, but practically conspiring, against the kind of numbers he and his camp have been seeking.
More» Cano makes a gorgeous over-the-shoulder grab|
|Adding Joe Nathan, the premier closer on the current free-agent market, could be the piece that finally sends the three-time-defending American League Central champion Tigers into the promised land.
More»MLB.com weighs in on Tigers acquiring Joe Nathan|
|A team that takes an existing strength and makes it even stronger is a team that won't accept second place as a way of life. For the purposes of this discussion, the team in question is the Washington Nationals. They bolstered an already impressive starting rotation Monday with the acquisition of Doug Fister in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.
More»Duquette on Nationals acquiring Fister from Tigers|
|With Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas headlining the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot, things are going to be different, not to mention happier than in 2013, when no candidate received the necessary 75 percent of the vote.
More»2014 Hall of Fame ballot loaded with superstars|
|It is difficult to make the argument that a team that won 97 games during the regular season and then reached the World Series is getting better. But this is what the evidence that the Cardinals present us says. The Cards have wrapped up their two most pressing needs and they have done so mere weeks into the 2013-14 offseason.
More»Cards GM John Mozeliak on signing Jhonny Peralta|
|The Yankees' signing of catcher Brian McCann sends a message that the other 29 Major League franchises do not necessarily want to hear. The Yankees' oft-stated desire to keep their payroll below the $189 million luxury-tax threshold notwithstanding, they are going to do what is necessary to regain Yankee-like status in 2014.
More»McCann agrees to join Yankees with five-year deal|
|Prince Fielder should be a good fit in Arlington. The hitter-friendly ballpark will suit him. The climate will suit him. Fielder has frequently said that he enjoys playing in hot weather. This is a man who has spent his big league career playing for Milwaukee and Detroit. This career may have been missing only a Texas home.
More»IT Reacts to the Fielder for Kinsler trade|
|Mike Matheny has always credited the players during his two-year run as Cardinals manager, but there has been no doubt that his professional and determined approach is a perfect fit in St. Louis. The organization agreed to the tune of a contract extension through 2017 on Wednesday.
More»Hot Stove crew reacts to Matheny's contract extension|
|The Tigers had the American League Cy Young Award winner and the Most Valuable Player in 2012, but their run at the World Series was cut short when their season was put in the hands of journeyman reliever Jose Veras. The signing of a proven closer like free agent Joe Nathan, allowing Joaquin Benoit to return to a setup role, may be the piece that puts them into the promised land.
More»IT on Joe Nathan and the Tigers' mutual interest|
|Yadier Molina should be the Most Valuable Player in the National League, by a landslide margin. But he isn't. Unfortunately for Yadi, some of his best work is not quantifiable.
More»Writers debate on Goldschmidt, McCutchen and Molina|
|Debate over Max Scherzer's worthiness of the 2013 American League Cy Young Award centered largely around whether 21 wins recorded while enjoying the league's best run support was enough, but the Tigers ace accomplished much more this season.
More»MLB.com on Scherzer winning AL Cy Young Award|
|While the move to Cobb County shocked some people, it illustrated that the Braves were not going to allow complacency to become a companion. They believe that they are securing the future for their organization with this move.
More»Bowman on benefits in Braves' move to Cobb County|
|The Cubs have genuine reasons to believe better days are on the horizon. If Rick Renteria is the manager the Cubs hope he will be, perhaps he will be the man to be in the skipper's office when the team's transformation comes to full fruition.
More»Cubs introduce Renteria as new manager|
|While Robinson Cano's opening position of a 10-year deal with the Yankees for a record $310 million is understandable, past free-agent megadeals would suggest negotiation.
More»Brian and Mike debate Cano's $300 million request|
|Brad Ausmus and Matt Williams received a nice assist from Mike Matheny, who demonstrated clearly that a man with no managerial experience can be precisely the right man for the job. There aren't many people like this, but the Tigers and the Nationals each believe that they have found another one.
More»Tigers introduce Ausmus as their new manager|
|The end of the baseball season wasn't good enough to reflect on the accomplishments of the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals. It also won't work as a predictor of this club's future work.
More» Wainwright on losing World Series|
|So the St. Louis Cardinals have their backs against the wall? Big deal. The Cards have had their backs against the wall so often that this has become an accustomed posture for them. They've been there, overcome that.
More» Matheny on Wacha in elimination game|
|This won't diminish by one iota the genuine affection and high regard in which Adam Wainwright is held by the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans. But there can only be a mixture of surprise and dismay when looking at the statistics for the 2013 World Series and seeing that Wainwright has a record of 0-2. He deserves better, but there it is.
More» Wainwright on his tough loss in Game 5|
|It was a tough night in Cardinal Nation. But the disappointment surrounding the defeat at Busch Stadium should be a temporary sensation. As disappointing as this loss was for the National League champions, the road ahead still looks promising.
More» Matheny addresses disappointing loss|
|Justice triumphed. And so did the St. Louis Cardinals. There will be much written and said about the "controversy" that ended Game 3 of the 2013 World Series. Where is the controversy when the umpires made the absolute correct call, immediately, in real time and with precise reasoning? It is time to give the umpires credit for being right the first time. This one ended with the umpires making a correct call and the Cards doing enough to deserve a victory.
More» Game 3 ends on obstruction, error|