BOSTON – The Red Sox spent the offseason shoring up their bullpen, one of Boston’s big weaknesses last season when it missed the playoffs for the second time in eight years.

But make no mistake: The closer remains the same.

The Red Sox completed a two-year, $12 million contract Tuesday with a former White Sox closer, Bobby Jenks, adding him to the back of the bullpen with closer Jonathan Papelbon and the pitcher who had been in line to inherit that role, Daniel Bard. Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein made it clear the ninth inning still belongs to Papelbon.

“We feel really lucky that Bobby wanted to pitch here and that we were able to get someone of his caliber to help Dan Bard set up for Papelbon,” Epstein said. “Hopefully he will be part of a ‘pen that will be one of the best we’ve had in Boston.”

A two-time All-Star who was Chicago’s closer when it won the 2005 World Series — its first since 1917 — Jenks saved 27 games for the White Sox last season but lost his closing job at the end of the year when he struggled with forearm problems. He didn’t pitch after saving both games in a Sept. 4 doubleheader against Boston.

“It was more of a scare for everyone than something that was actually wrong. Medically, I was cleared to go,” Jenks said. “Going into this spring I’m going to be 100 percent and ready to go.”

The Red Sox also added right-handers Matt Albers and Dan Wheeler to a bullpen that had the third-worst ERA in the AL last season. Left-handers Rich Hill, Andrew Miller and Randy Williams signed minor-league deals with invitations to spring training to give Manager Terry Francona other options.

“We’ve added a lot of depth, a lot of experience, a lot of power arms and strike-throwers to our ‘pen,” Epstein said. “The last year was a struggle to give Tito some quality arms.”

But what the team really needs is for Papelbon to bounce back from his worst season.

The former All-Star, who turned 30 last month, had 37 saves — his fewest in a full season — and watched his ERA balloon from 1.84 for his first four-plus years to 3.90. He blew as many save opportunities, eight, as he had in the previous two seasons combined.

“Obviously we still see him as our closer. Now we’ve got two power guys to set up for him,” Epstein said, adding he kept in touch with Papelbon’s agent to let him know the team was pursuing Jenks. “Pap’s fine with this. Who wouldn’t be? Every time we add someone of quality to the bullpen, he’s excited.”

Jenks was second in White Sox history with 173 saves since joining Chicago midseason in 2005. He had four saves in the 2005 postseason, pitching in all four Series games during a sweep of the Houston Astros.

Jenks saved 81 games over the next two years. After he missed the final 27 games last season, the White Sox didn’t tender him a contract. General Manager Kenny Williams said he would consider bringing Jenks back at a lower salary.

Instead, Jenks is with Boston, a team he said he rooted for as a kid.

“I’m just excited to get with the team that they’re putting together this year,” he said.