According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Boston Red Sox have signed reliever Joe Nelson to a minor league contract.

Tampa Bay Ray's catcher Dioner Navarro, left, congratulates pitcher Joe Nelson on getting the final out following the 12th inning as the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-9 in a baseball game in Toronto on Saturday, July 25, 2009 - AP PhotoNelson was 3-0 with a 4.02 ERA in 42 games for the rival Tampa Bay Rays last season.

He was designated for assignment by the Rays on August 1, 2009 and spent the final month of the season with the Rays Triple-A affiliate the Durham Bulls. In 13 games for the Bulls, he was 2-2 with a 6.23 ERA.

Nelson is no stranger to the Red Sox organization as he was in the system briefly in 2002 and again in 2004. He made three appearances for the Red Sox in May of 2004 and had no record with 16.88 ERA.

He spent most of the 2004 season with the Portland Sea Dogs and Pawtucket Red Sox where he was a combined 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 41 games. His 2002 stint lasted all of four games for the Trenton Thunder, who were the Red  Sox Double-A affiliate then.