NL East Notes: Marlins, Kasten, Phillies, Wright

A number of notable NL East players celebrate birthdays today, such as the Nationals' Steve Lombardozzi (24 years old), Ian Desmond (27), and the Mets' Jason Bay (34).  Here's the latest from around the division…

  • The Marlins are discussing whether to not to fire manager Ozzie Guillen, a source tells MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.  Former Marlin Mike Lowell (who has never managed or coached at any level) has been discussed as a replacement.  Other candidates could include Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and Blue Jays Class-A manager Tim Redmond.
  • The Marlins will likely have a payroll in the $80MM range in 2013, opines Frisaro as part of a reader mailbag.  Miami carried a $101.6MM payroll into the 2012 season and have over $67MM in salary committed for next year.  Frisaro thinks the Marlins will stay away from high-priced free agents like Michael Bourn and instead target "veterans who don't come at a great cost," such as Kevin Youkilis.
  • Former Nationals president Stan Kasten is pleased at his ex-team's success, he tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson.  "The turning point was Day 1, when [the Lerner family] was committed to a program of scouting and player development — long-term building, try to build internally, get home-grown players," said Kasten, who's now the Dodgers' team president. "As we see, the team that we see out there on the field is largely homegrown with some very key important strategic pieces added on top of it….They stuck to their plan. You are seeing the results now. It appears they are going to enjoy those results in the years to come."
  • Phillies manager Charlie Manuel tells reporters (including MLB.com's Todd Zolecki) that he hopes the club acquires at least one "first-class good" relief pitcher this winter.  Zolecki speculates that this new reliever could push Antonio Bastardo out of the bullpen, as Bastardo has struggled this season.
  • David Wright's slump shouldn't stop the Mets from signing their star to an extension, opines Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com, "despite [Wright] having just three good months over the last two years."  Cerrone thinks the Mets could sign Wright to a deal in the six-year/$100MM range this offseason or possibly just pick up Wright's $16MM team option for 2013 if they're still concerned about his long-term viability.
  • Jeurys Familia will pitch in high-leverage situations down the stretch, Mets manager Terry Collins told media, including Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.  The Mets plan to use Familia as a late-inning reliever and backup closer behind Frank Francisco next season.  You can follow all of the late-inning situations on MLBTR's sister Twitter feed, @CloserNews.

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