In the leadup to the winter meetings, which begin Sunday in Nashville, the Red Sox made a series of minor transactions Wednesday:
They sold third baseman Danny Valencia to the Orioles. Valencia, 28, was acquired from the Twins on Aug. 5 and hit .143 (4-for-28) for the Sox with 1 home run and 4 RBI. He hit .306 (15-for-49) for the PawSox and hit two homers during the team's run to the Governor's Cup championship.
They sent right-hander Sandy Rosario to the A's for either a player to be named later or cash considerations. Rosario, 27, had been claimed off waivers from the Marlins on Oct. 17 and was designated for assignment on Nov. 20.
They traded right-hander Zach Stewart to the Pirates for a player to be named later. Stewart, 26, acquired from the White Sox in the Kevin Youkilis trade on June 24, was 0-2 with a 22.24 ERA in two starts for Boston. With Pawtucket he was 3-5 with a 3.94 ERA.
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.
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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.