BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox signed closer Koji Uehara to a two-year contract that will pay the All-Star reliever $18 million through 2016.

Uehara joined the Red Sox in 2013 and earned the closer’s role midway through the season. He was a key part of the team that won the franchise’s third World Series in 10 years.

He reached the All-Star game last year but struggled at times. He finished with a 6-5 record and an ERA of 2.52.

He will turn 40 before opening day.

YOUKILIS RETIRES: Former Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis is retiring, according to his agent.

Youkilis played parts of nine seasons in Boston and was a part of championship teams in 2004 and ’07. He was traded to the White Sox in 2012 and then played an injury-shortened year with the Yankees before spending last season in Japan.

In his career, Youkilis hit .281 with 150 homers and 618 RBI.

HALL OF FAME BALLOT: Gil Hodges, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills are among 10 candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot for its Golden Era committee.

Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva and Billy Pierce also are on the ballot. The only non-player is Bob Howsam, the late Cincinnati Reds general manager.

A committee will convene Dec. 7-8 at the winter meetings to consider the candidates, whose biggest impact was from 1947-72.

CARDINALS: St. Louis exercised its 2015 contract option on pitcher John Lackey, which is at the major league minimum.

The right-hander agreed to an $82.5 million, five-year contract with Boston in December 2009 that contained a conditional team option at the minimum if he missed a season due to specified injury. Lackey did not pitch in 2012 after elbow surgery.

REDS: Cincinnati exercised Johnny Cueto’s $10 million contract option. Cueto also made $10 million last season, when he went 20-9 with a 2.25 ERA.

ANGELS: The team exercised its $7 million contract option on closer Huston Street, who had 17 saves and a 1.71 ERA last season.