From Comcast SportsNetDETROIT (AP) -- Free agent outfielder Torii Hunter has agreed to a 26 million, two-year deal with Detroit, giving the Tigers a capable corner outfielder coming off an impressive season at age 37.A person with knowledge of the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity Wednesday because no announcement had been made, confirmed the deal and said Hunter has a physical scheduled for Friday. Hunter hit a career-best .313 last season for the Los Angeles Angels with 16 home runs and 92 RBIs.Acquiring a corner outfielder was a major offseason priority for Detroit, and Hunter won nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 2001-09 before gradually switching from center field to right. With the exception of Austin Jackson in center field, the Tigers were largely unimpressive defensively last season.Detroit went into 2012 hoping for solid production from outfielders like Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn, but by the time the postseason started, the Tigers were primarily using Andy Dirks, Quintin Berry and Avisail Garcia alongside Jackson. Dirks had a fine season, hitting .322, but Hunter has a longer track record.Hunter is also a .289 career hitter against left-handers. The Tigers hit a pedestrian .253 versus southpaws in 2012.Detroit is chasing its first World Series title since 1984. The Tigers were swept by San Francisco in this year's series.After back-to-back AL Central titles, Detroit is aggressively trying to win now. Ace Justin Verlander and sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are all in their prime, and the Tigers traded top pitching prospect Jacob Turner to Miami in the middle of the season for right-hander Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante.Detroit seems like a sensible fit all along for an older player like Hunter, who follows his five-year tenure with Los Angeles by reaching a shorter deal with the Tigers. Detroit is not required to give up compensation for Hunter.Sanchez is now a free agent, and the Tigers have said they'd like to take a shot at retaining him. Detroit is also ready to welcome back Victor Martinez, who will replace Delmon Young at designated hitter after missing the whole 2012 season with a knee injury.There are still a few other questions for the Tigers, who are unlikely to bring back closer Jose Valverde. General manager Dave Dombrowski indicated Detroit has some in-house candidates for that role, but the offseason is young.Although Hunter is now off the market, some other top free agent outfielders remain for other teams to shop for, such as Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher.Hunter's arrival means Boesch, Garcia or Berry could be an odd man out on Detroit's opening day roster in 2013. Boesch has hit 42 home runs in three seasons with the Tigers, but his average dipped to a career-low .240 in 2012. Berry came from off the radar this year as a 27-year-old rookie and stole 21 bases without being caught. The 21-year-old Garcia hit .319 in 47 at-bats, but he may be a candidate for more seasoning in the minors.
ATLANTA - Matt Ryan and Julio Jones teamed up for a dominant playoff performance, and the Atlanta Falcons ignored all those ghosts from the last half-century.
Next up: Super Bowl 51.
Ryan threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns in another MVP-worthy showing, while Jones shook off a toe injury to haul in nine catches for 180 yards and two scores, leading the Falcons to a 44-21 blowout of the storied Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship Sunday.
You’ll never guess who the seventh-best quarterback* at Gillette Stadium was Sunday.
Via video posted on his Snapchat, 2014 Browns first-rounder Johnny Manziel, currently out of the league, attended the AFC Championship wearing a Tom Brady jersey.
Manziel was released by the Browns last March after two seasons and just eight starts. Had he played this season, he would have been suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
*He might have been eighth-best. Julian Edelman played quarterback in college. People forget that.