Lance Carter Joins Collins In Japan

First Terry Collins left the Dodgers to manage in Japan. Then Jon Debus followed him to coach. Now a player who was in the ranks in 2006 has joined them.

It was almost unnoticed with the flurry of big name deals in the winter meetings but righthander Lance Carter has signed with the Orix Buffaloes, the team that Collins will manage and Debus will coach for in 2007.

Carter was efficient as the closer for Las Vegas this past season with 13 saves. It wasn't Vegas, though, that the Dodgers had acquired him for in a trade with Tampa Bay. They had hoped he would bolster the bullpen in Los Angeles and there he was woefully inadequate with an 0-1, 8.39 record before being banished to the minors. When his option was not picked up at the end of the season he declared for free agency.

Carter, who will be 32 this month, once saved 26 games for the Devil Rays in 2002. Now, he'll try to see if there is anything left in Asia.