BOSTON, Jan. 5 -- The Boston Red Sox on Friday agreed to terms with free agent lefthanders Kent Mercker and Bryan Ward, both of whom finished last season with the Anaheim Angels.
Mercker, 32, endured a difficult but inspiring season with the Angels last year, earning the Tony Conigliaro Award, which is given each year to the player who has overcome adversity through great determination and courage.
The 12-year veteran and former Red Sox suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while pitching against Texas on May 11. After 12 days in the hospital, four of which he spent in intensive care, Mercker began a comeback that culminated in him taking the mound before the end of the season.
He finished the season with a 1-3 mark and 6.52 ERA in 21 appearances, including seven starts. Mercker was 2-0 with a 3.51 ERA for Boston in the final month of the 1999 season after being acquired from St. Louis.
Mercker has a career mark of 63-61 with a 4.31 ERA and has spent time with Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, the Cardinals, Red Sox and Angels after spending his first seven seasons with the Atlanta Braves.
Ward, 28, did not have a decision but boasted a solid 3.27 ERA in 27 relief appearances for Philadelphia and Anaheim last season, holding righthanded hitters to a .194 batting average.
He has a career mark of 1-3 with a 5.09 ERA with one save in 95 games with the Chicago White Sox, Phillies and Angels.