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As trade deadline approaches, Orioles say they're focused on tough schedule, not tough decisions

Closer Zach Britton can't remember the Orioles making many trade deadline acquisitions.

And even as the club returned from the All-Star break Friday four games below .500 — with series against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs and the American-League best Houston Astros looming over the next nine days — players said they're not thinking about the possibility of players being dealt away. Britton said it's imperative that improvement comes from within.

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"It's up to us in this clubhouse to go out there and perform," he said. "We've got some guys that aren't performing up to that level — myself included, coming off that [forearm] injury."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he hadn't discussed the Orioles' approach to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline with executive vice president Dan Duquette, but he's planning to gauge his players' reactions if and when rumors emerge.

"It is something that you look out for when you start this post-All-Star break, because they know when the trading deadline is," Showalter said. "It is something you keep an eye on, and don't assume that nobody's having a problem with it. I think we all have a pretty good idea of who people would have some interest in."

Britton, on a one-year, $11.4 million contract with arbitration looming again after this season, declined to speculate on whether he'd be involved with a move.

So did third baseman Manny Machado, who's under Orioles control through 2018 and is considered one of the game's best talents despite his dip at the plate this season.

"Those are questions and answers that only Dan can answer," Machado said. "We might be here today and tomorrow or not. That's just part of the game. All we can do is control what we can, which is going out there, winning some games for this ballclub and putting ourselves in a good position to make a push for it."

ccaplan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/CallieCaplan

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