Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo needs another elbow surgery

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Hong-Chih Kuo was removed from the Chinese Taipei national team’s roster for the upcoming “All-Star series” against a team of MLB players because of elbow soreness and the Dodgers just announced that he’ll undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from the elbow.

Kuo has a long history of elbow problems, including multiple surgeries, and struggled this season while frequently having extreme control issues.

When healthy the 30-year-old left-hander is one of the best, most dominant pitchers in baseball, posting a 1.96 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 170 innings from 2008-2010. He earned $2.7 million this season and will be arbitration eligible for 2012.

Presumably the Dodgers will tender him a contract, although Kuo likely won’t be cleared to begin throwing for 6-8 weeks and the tender deadline is mid-December.

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.