MLB Rumors: Yankees In Touch With 4 Surprising Free Agents

Make no mistake: Aaron Judge is still Priority No. 1 for the New York Yankees. They'll do everything they can to re-sign their franchise player. But according to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, they're already reaching out to four other major free agents as a backup plan. 

[The Yankees] have made several surprising free-agent connections, including with marquee shortstops Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts and also crosstown center-field star Brandon Nimmo.

All along, the pundits have been saying the Yankees had no intention of entering the expensive shortstop market, likely preferring to go with their two young prospects in the middle, Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. But if they lose out on Judge, they'll certainly need another big-time bat to replace him.

"Yankees people have not indicated a strong desire or inclination to get into the splashy shortstop derby and make a big play for one of the big-time free agents," wrote Heyman, "so perhaps they are merely getting an early gauge on the market in case Judge leaves and plenty of spending money is left over."

As for the chances of retaining Judge, "Yankees people have sounded a bit more hopeful in recent days."

As we noted yesterday, owner Hal Steinbrenner is ready to offer an intriguing perk to help keep Judge in pinstripes.