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Rich Hill returns to Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 31, 2014 07:28 PM

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

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

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.

Hill will face plenty of competition in Fort Myers. The Red 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.

Hill pitched with a sidearm motion in 2012 (at the suggestion of current Red Sox manager John Farrell) but experimented with different arm angles last season.

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 innings and held lefthanded hitters to a .238 batting average.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post first had the news on Hill.

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