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Mariners, O's Displaying Strong Interest In Butler

9:32pm: Royals officials "seemed to characterize Seattle as a fall-back option," writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, because Kansas City seeks a difference-maker rather than unproven prospects.  Dutton suggests the Orioles are "an even tougher match."  

5:47pm: The Mariners and Royals have had recent talks on Butler, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

12:17pm: Although a report last week suggested that Billy Butler was close to untouchable, that hasn't stopped teams from showing interest in the Royals slugger. According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter), the Mariners and Orioles are showing "strong interest" in Butler.

We had previously heard about both teams' interest in Butler, with the Mariners in particular said to be "coveting" the 26-year-old. Dutton views the M's as a more logical fit for the Royals than the Orioles, given the young pitchers Seattle could offer in a deal.

Dutton noted earlier today that the Rays' agreement with James Loney may mean they're no longer a fit for a Butler trade.

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