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Cubs cut ties with Daniel Bard

The Chicago Cubs non-tendered pitcher Daniel Bard before Monday night's deadline for arbitration-eligible players. If arbitration-eligible players are non-tendered by their clubs, they become free agents. Bard might still return to the Cubs. Bard, who was claimed from the Boston Red Sox in September, has battled inconsistency and injuries. (ESPN.com)

Tar Heel Baseball Freshmen Ranked Fourth Nationally

North Carolina's current freshman class has been ranked No. 4 nationally by Perfect Game, the website announced this week. The Tar Heels are one of three ACC programs in the top 10, with Miami coming in at No. 2 and Georgia Tech at No. 9. Right-hander Chris Oakley merits special mention as a member of the PG Top 100. (GoHeels.com)

Daniel Bard struggling in Puerto Rican Winter League

Daniel Bard is healthy and hoping to reestablish himself in the Puerto Rican Winter League. But the experiment is not off to a very promising start. The 28-year-old walked five batters and gave up three earned runs Saturday in his third appearance for Criollos de Caguas. He threw multiple wild pitches in the inning and has now retired just one of the 13 hitters he’s faced since joining the winter ball team. (NBC Sports)

Tar Heels offer lessons beyond baseball at local school

Nine members of the UNC baseball team told students at Alexander Wilson Elementary School that character counts for quite a bit. The visitors took part in a presentation Friday afternoon to discuss work ethic and commitment to school work. The group of players also included junior starting pitcher Benton Moss, a Morehead Scholar who led one of the sessions with some of the younger students. (Burlington Times News)

Matt Harvey finishes fourth on National League Cy Young ballot

Matt Harvey’s breakout season prematurely concluded on August 24 with just nine wins, but it was still impressive enough to have him finish tied for fourth in the National League Cy Young ballot with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. The winner, as expected, was the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw with 29 of the 30 first-place votes. Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals finished second. (Newark Star-Ledger)

New ball, better game as college baseball looks to bring excitement back

Last week, the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee approved a new “flat-seamed” ball that carries about 20-feet farther. The new ball, similar to what is used currently at the minor league level, will be used starting in 2015 in the D-I playoffs. North Carolina head coach Mike Fox said it’s been discussed among the coaches and the coaches association for the last two off-seasons - and he supported the change. (WRAL Sports Fan)

Mariners' Dustin Ackley awarded for defensive prowess

Dustin Ackley has been named the Seattle Mariners' recipient of the 2013 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, an honor that goes to one player from each Major League club. Ackley split time between second base and the outfield and performed well enough at both positions that he was selected as the Mariners' top glove man. (MLB.com)

Matt Harvey says he is ahead of schedule after Tommy John surgery

In just over a year, Matt Harvey’s reputation has been built on his fierce competitive nature, and clearly the Mets righthander is taking on his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery with the same zeal and determination to dominate. Monday night, the 24-year-old All-Star declared himself “ahead of schedule,” six days after undergoing the surgery. (New York Daily News)

Colin Moran making most of time in Arizona Fall League

As Colin Moran, the Marlins' 2013 first round draft pick out of North Carolina, who is a natural third baseman, continues to develop in the Arizona Fall League, his debut may too be imminent. After batting .299 in his first stint as a professional, Miami sought to challenge him again by assigning him to play in the Arizona Fall League. (Fish Stripes)

Houston Astros’ Alex White Could Be In 2014 Rotation

All this talk about who the Houston Astros will sign and which prospect could fill the gaps in their roster may have many fans forgetting about a guy who would have been in the rotation already had it not been for season-ending Tommy John surgery – Alex White. White was, just like most Houston Astros’ pick-ups, a first-round pick. (Rant Sports)

What Went Right for the Yankees: Adam Warren

All told, Adam Warren pitched to a 3.39 ERA and 4.32 FIP in 77 innings across two spot starts and 32 long relief appearances in 2013. He made six appearances of at least four innings and in those games he surrendered only four runs total (1.27 ERA), three of which came in one outing. Joe Girardi even used him in some seventh inning setup situations. (River Avenue Blues)

Matt Harvey undergoes Tommy John surgery

Matt Harvey can start looking toward a 2015 return to the Mets after undergoing surgery Tuesday to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Sea Breeze, Fla., the team announced. Harvey decided this month to go the surgery route after beginning a physical rehab program at the Hospital for Special Surgery. (New York Post)

After quiet start, Dustin Ackley silenced his critics

There will undoubtedly be questions about Dustin Ackley's position and situation with the Mariners this offseason as the club ponders how the 2009 first-round Draft choice fits into its future. But from Ackley's point of view, fewer of those questions will be lingering in his own mind as the former North Carolina star found a comfort zone and confidence level in the second half of the 2013 season. (MLB.com)

Matt Harvey expected to undergo Tommy John surgery within next week

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is slated to undergo his Tommy John surgery within the next week, his agent Scott Boras told reporters Tuesday night in Los Angeles. As the Mets announced, Boras confirmed noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews will perform the procedure. Harvey, 24, will miss the entire 2014 season. He is expected to return in 2015. (Newark Star-Ledger)

Rockies give manager Walt Weiss three-year extension for $2 million

Rockies manager Walt Weiss has the additional security he wanted. He now faces the challenge of producing more victories for a Rockies team that finished in last place in his first season. Weiss received a strong endorsement from owner Dick Monfort, who awarded him a three-year extension for around $2 million. Team officials would not release contract details. (Denver Post)

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