On the heels of another abysmal outing from staple lefty Hideki Okajima, who allowed a two-run jack over two-thirds of an inning Tuesday night, the Boston Red Sox have signed former Chicago Cubs lefty Rich Hill to a minor-league contract.

The move comes one day after Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein told WEEI’s Alex Speier that he would prefer not to deal prospects to bolster the Red Sox faltering relief corp.

While RHP Daniel Bard has been dominant as closer Jonathan Papelbon’s setup man, the rest of the Red Sox pen has been relatively ineffective when compared to its past successes. Okajima has been particularly weak, posting a 5.81 ERA in 26.1 innings this year.

The 30-year-old Hill offers a low-risk, high-reward answer to at least one of the Red Sox’ many bullpen problems.

While the signing makes fiscal sense, it will take a significant turnaround for Hill to prove an effective option for Manager Terry Francona.

Hill hasn’t pitched more than passably since 2007, when he went 11-8 for the Chicago Cubs and posted a 3.92 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 195 innings.

Since that career year, Hill has bounced around between Chicago, Baltimore, and St. Louis and has pitched more and more ineffectively.

The Boston-born Hill has put up a 4.30 ERA over 46 innings for the Memphis Redbirds, St Louis’ Triple-A affiliate, this year.

He has held opponents to a .217 average and has struck out more than one batter per inning.

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