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10/05/06 9:16 PM ET

Dodgers' Collins to manage in Japan

Farm director takes three-year deal with Orix Buffaloes

NEW YORK -- Dodgers farm director Terry Collins has accepted a three-year offer to become manager of the Orix Buffaloes in the Japanese Pacific League. The Buffaloes have a working relationship with the Dodgers.

Collins, who managed the Houston Astros and California Angels for three years each, has always wanted to return to the dugout. He became the Dodgers' Minor League field coordinator in 2002 and was promoted to farm director two years ago.

A year ago, Collins was the apparent front-runner to be named Dodgers manager by general manager Paul DePodesta, but DePodesta was instead dismissed. New general manager Ned Colletti did not interview Collins before naming Grady Little manager, and Collins returned as farm director.

Collins, 57, has earned industry-wide praise for his role in reviving the Dodgers' farm system, which is now considered one of the most productive in the game. But a field manager job in Japan would pay a considerably higher salary than that earned by a farm director for a Major League team.

There are three other Americans managing in Japan: former Dodgers player and Major League manager Bobby Valentine, Trey Hillman and Marty Brown.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.