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Red Sox notebook

Lefthander Hill tosses hat in ring

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / December 17, 2010

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Rich Hill, his career reborn as a relief pitcher, is getting another chance with the Red Sox. The lefthander from Milton was signed to a minor league contract yesterday and invited to spring training.

The 30-year-old Hill pitched in six games for the Sox last season, throwing four scoreless innings. He will get a chance to compete for a spot in the bullpen.

Hill spent most of last season in Triple A, starting the year with the Cardinals before becoming a free agent and signing with the Sox June 30.

Hill was 3-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 19 games for Pawtucket before being promoted.

Hill is 22-20 with a 4.82 earned run average over parts of six seasons with the Cubs, Orioles, and Red Sox.

Hill, who lives in South Boston, has been primarily a starter in his career but embraced a new role last season after recovering from shoulder surgery.

Miller returns The Andrew Miller saga took another turn when the Red Sox signed him to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

The 25-year-old lefthander was acquired from Florida for lefthander Dustin Richardson Nov. 12. The Red Sox then nontendered him Dec. 2, unwilling to give Miller a raise from the $1.79 million he made last season.

A free agent, Miller considered offers from several teams, including the Giants, before deciding to return to the Sox.

A first-round pick (sixth overall) by the Tigers in 2006, Miller is 15-26 with a 5.84 ERA over parts of five seasons with the Tigers and Marlins. Miller was teammates with Sox reliever Daniel Bard at the University of North Carolina.

Miller is out of minor league options, meaning he would be exposed to waivers if he does not make the team out of spring training. The Sox see him having potential in the bullpen if he is able to make mechanical adjustments.

Albers comes aboard The Red Sox added bullpen depth by signing Matt Albers to a one-year deal worth $875,000.

The 27-year-old righthander was 5-3 with a 4.52 ERA for Baltimore last season in a career-high 62 games. He led American League relievers by making 25 appearances of more than one inning.

Patterson sent to Padres The Red Sox completed their deal for Adrian Gonzalez by sending utilityman Eric Patterson to the Padres. The Dec. 6 trade also sent righthander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and outfielder Reymond Fuentes to San Diego.

Patterson hit .226 with two homers and seven RBIs in 45 games for the Sox last season after being obtained from Oakland June 26. He started games in left field, center field, and second base.

New direction Ryan Harvey, an outfielder who was a first-round pick of the Cubs in 2003, signed a minor league deal to pitch for the Red Sox.

The 26-year-old righthander was 10-1 with a 1.46 ERA as a high school junior in Dunedin, Fla., before giving up pitching. A career .244 hitter over eight minor league seasons with the Cubs and Rockies, the 6-foot-5-inch Harvey returned to the mound a few months ago. Sox scout Jaymie Bane saw Harvey pitch and recommended his signing.

“He had five concrete offers and wanted Boston,’’ agent David Sloane said. “They have a track record of developing pitchers and of giving pitchers a chance. This is a great opportunity for him.’’

Harvey has been invited to a preseason camp for prospects in Fort Myers, Fla.

More deals The Sox also signed lefthander Randy Williams, righthander Clevelan Santeliz, and lefthander Lenny DiNardo to minor league deals. Williams and Santeliz received invitations to major league spring training. Williams made nine appearances with the White Sox last season. The 35-year-old has a 5.74 ERA in 90 games with the Mariners, Padres, Rockies, and White Sox. Santeliz, 24, was with the White Sox in Triple A last season, going 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA and two saves. DiNardo, 31, is 10-18 with a 5.36 ERA in 94 games with the Red Sox (2004-06), Athletics, and Royals.

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

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