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RED SOX NOTEBOOK

Rich Hill agrees to minor league contract

Rich Hill had a 1.14 earned run average in  40 appearances with the Red Sox. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Elsa/Getty Images/File

Rich Hill had a 1.14 earned run average in 40 appearances with the Red Sox.

The Red Sox are again providing an opportunity for Rich Hill.

The lefthanded reliever from Milton agreed Friday to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

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Hill, who turns 34 next month, was with the Red Sox from 2010-12. He spent last season with the Cleveland Indians, appearing in a career-best 63 games.

Hill would earn $840,000 if he makes the major league team, with an additional $500,000 available based on appearances. If Hill starts the season in the minor leagues, he can opt out of his contract on May 15 or June 30.

The Red Sox have lefty relievers Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow on the 40-man roster along with rookie Drake Britton. Lefthanded reliever Jose Mijares was signed to a minor league contract last month and also will attend spring training.

Hill had a 1.14 earned run average and 1.26 WHIP over 40 appearances with the Red Sox. Tommy John elbow surgery ended his 2011 season prematurely. Hill returned in 2012 but ended up on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.

He was inconsistent with the Indians, posting a 6.28 ERA and walking 6.8 batters per nine innings. But Hill also averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine and held lefthanded hitters to a .238 batting average.

Rangers sign Bard

The Texas Rangers signed righthander Daniel Bard to a minor league contract. The Cubs claimed Bard after the Red Sox placed him on waivers in September, but he did not pitch.

Once a dominant setup reliever for the Sox, Bard saw his career go into a tailspin when he became a starter in 2012.

Over the last two seasons, Bard, 28, has walked 101, hit 18 batters, and thrown 21 wild pitches over 107 innings in the majors and minors. He recently had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery to correct a nerve issue.

Lowell gets manager

The Red Sox named former catcher Joe Oliver the manager of Single A Lowell. Oliver, 48, finished his playing career with the Red Sox in 2001. He was a high school coach in Florida last season.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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