The Royals are sellers, but the selection is poor

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The Royals may be on the verge of admitting what everyone else already knows: that they’re not going anywhere:

Royals general manager Dayton Moore loathes the word “rebuilding.”
He’s not necessarily ready to concede the 2009 season, even though his
team is 31-40. But a person with knowledge of the team’s plans said
Moore will be open-minded to trade possibilities — if they bring talent
and/or salary relief that would benefit the team in 2010 and beyond.

In that respect, his approach to this year’s trade deadline is
similar to that of Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro, a competitor in the
American League Central.

As a rival AL executive put it on Thursday: “Kansas City will talk about anyone outside their core players.”

Who are the Royals’ “core players”? Obviously Greinke, Soria,
Hochevar, Gordon, and maybe Teahen, Butler and Callaspo, right? And
maybe you’d dangle one of them? Now tell me: is there anyone on the
Royals’ roster outside of that group for whom you’d give a stale
sandwich? Maybe Coco Crisp, but otherwise I’m having trouble seeing it.

Orioles “have begun fielding calls of interest” on Manny Machado

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”

You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.

Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.

Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.