Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|A fundamental sense of calm and optimism inhabits the Texas Rangers, and it starts at the top of the baseball side of the organization with president of baseball operations/general manager Jon Daniels.
More»Washington on Kinsler, looking ahead to 2014|
|Closer Aroldis Chapman can focus on honing his craft in Spring Training with the Reds now that he's been reunited with his loved ones from Cuba.
More» Chapman worthy of hype and early-round pick|
|It is very early, but Matt Williams is already demonstrating a knowledge of the necessary structure of baseball, along with a sense of the game's poetry in his first year as Washington's skipper. That is already an impressive range.
More»Nats manager Williams has advantage of rotation depth|
|Don't expect the Braves to forget what works. Their roster isn't markedly changed since winning the National League East last year, and neither is their talent level. Atlanta led the Majors in team ERA in 2013 at 3.18. That's a good place to start.
More»Braves ready to repeat as NL East champs|
|The Nationals should be better than they were in 2013. They should be better if players perform to their career norms and if good health is the order of the day. On the surface, the very least that should be expected is a season in which they are constant, viable contenders for a postseason berth.
More»Williams on new role as manager|
|The St. Louis Cardinals were the best team in the National League last year. There is absolutely no reason to expect any slippage in 2014.
More»Cardinals have great mix of youth, veterans|
|After three straight losing seasons, the Twins rebuilt their rotation in the offseason, and they have several elite prospects on the way in the farm system.
More»Twins head into 2014 with improved rotation|
|It was a season of legendary, epic proportions. A team went from worst to first, improved its record by 28 games and then marched on to win the World Series. Now in Spring Training 2014, the Red Sox are stressing that as much as '13 was a wonderful story and terrific experience, it is time to turn the page and focus completely on '14.
More»Red Sox focused on 2014 as the full squad gathers|
|The Tampa Bay Rays entered the full-squad portion of Spring Training with exceedingly high hopes and the means to turn those hopes into reality. The full-squad work at Charlotte Sports Park on Thursday was ushered in by manager Joe Maddon's annual Spring Training oration to his club.
More»Maddon, Longoria discuss team mantra for '14|
|The Blue Jays should be better than last year, when they went 74-88 and finished in fifth place in the American League East. How much better will be determined in large measure by the performance of the starting rotation.
More»Gregor Chisholm on Blue Jays' rotation options|
|There is nothing like coming to Spring Training with a minimum number of issues, questions and problems. Welcome to the camp of the Detroit Tigers.
More»Ausmus on Tigers first workout|
|While the Pirates did not make any big splashes on the free-agency market this offseason, the losses of A.J. Burnett, Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd should be offset by the continued growth of the young players on their roster.
More»Clint Hurdle on goals during Pirates' Spring Training|
|On the first day of workouts for Yankees' pitchers and catchers Saturday, Masahiro Tanaka threw 32 pitches to catcher Francisco Cervelli in a bullpen session and participated in variety of typical Spring Training pitching activities.
More»Bauman breaks down Tanaka's bullpen session|
|The Minnesota franchise will be a focal point of baseball this summer with the All-Star Game to be played at the Twins' splendid downtown-Minneapolis home, Target Field. We can all fervently hope that a healthy Terry Ryan will be on hand, in order to give somebody else the credit for whatever goes right.
More»Twins president, team physician on Ryan's health|
|Spring Training is the annual sign that better days are within range. Baseball beats the first robin of spring every year. The days will eventually be warmer. And they will be days accompanied by baseball.
More»Dodgers look ahead to Opening Series in Australia|
|The Nelson Cruz package doesn't lend itself to a convenient group of comparables. He's a gamble for somebody. Cruz is potentially a worthwhile gamble, but at what cost and over what length of time?
More» Cruz should offer consistent power in 2014|
|It is Henry Aaron's 80th birthday. This is a life that must be celebrated, for its impact both on and off the field. He was Hammerin' Hank, the most prolific home run hitter of the 20th century, a baseball pioneer in an era in which Jim Crow laws ruled the South, and he has carried on his post-retirement career with grace and dignity.
More» Hank Aaron|
|Can somebody give Bronson Arroyo a job? Or at least an offer? Good guy, good pitcher, good teammate. One of the game's most consistent performers over the past decade. There isn't a lot on the debit side of the ledger here.
More» Arroyo offsets K rate with spot-on accuracy|
|Super Bowl XLVIII offered a reminder of a fact of life that will be repeated again during the baseball season to come: Defense wins championships. Everything else wins individual awards and offers entertainment value. But defense wins championships.
More»Gold Glove winners make amazing plays in the field|
|This is an uphill journey, but the Milwaukee Brewers continue to attempt the climb. The Brewers on Thursday closed in on a deal for free-agent starting pitcher Matt Garza. The contract is reportedly for $52 million over four years.
More» Garza strikes out eight over 6 2/3 innings|