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From Sunday's papers:

As rumored, John Farrell is close to becoming Boston's next pitching coach. Farrell is currently the Indians' Director of Player Development, although he has had some coaching experience in college baseball. Ross Atkins, the Director of Latin American  Operations, seems the natural replacement for Farrell.

Also, Hoynes mentions that the Braves are willing to deal Marcus Giles this winter. Giles hit .262/.341/.387 for the Braves this season, a far cry from his career averages (.285/.361/.448). Giles is eligible for arbitration, so he should come at a discount. Before talking to any of the free agents, I'd definitely explore acquiring Giles - at worst, he'd be a one-year rental.

Another avenue for adding players is Japan, and the Indians will probably be involved in the posting process. The marquee player is starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, probably the best pitcher to come to the States since Hideo Nomo. Matsuzaka is only 26 years old. And since the posting process involves a blind bid, there is a greater oppportunity for a smaller-market team to land a useful player. I doubt the Indians come close to signing Matsuzaka, but they could realistically get a reliever via this route.

Burt Graeff details how minor-league players from Latin America often are fighting for work visas, since the caps for minor-league visas have been restricted in the post-9/11 era.