Two minor Red Sox items on a late January night . . .
-- WEEI.com's Alex Speier reports that the Sox are bringing back left-hander Rich Hill on a minor-league deal. Hill, you may remember, was one of best lefty specialists in the American League while pitching for the Red Sox; after being unscored upon in 12 innings spread over two seasons (2010-11; his '11 season was cut short by Tommy John surgery), he was 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 25 games in 2012. He spent last season with Terry Francona in Cleveland and wasn't nearly as successful, posting a 6.28 ERA in 38 2/3 innings spread over 63 games.
With Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller ahead of him on the left-handed-reliever depth chart, Hill has three opt-out dates in the contract, according to Speier: The end of spring training, May 15 and June 30.
-- Peter Gammons reports Daniel Bard, who recently underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery -- and which Peter had quotes medical experts as saying was the cause of his 2012-13 meltdown -- has signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers.