What happens if Yankees don’t re-sign Aaron Judge? MLB insider pitches Brian Cashman’s backup plan

As goes Aaron Judge, so goes the New York Yankees.

The free-agent outfielder is the linchpin to general manager Brian Cashman’s offseason plans.

If he re-signs the slugger, Cashman won’t have much money left to address other needs like a third outfielder and help for the bullpen.

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If Judge decides to head west, Cashman will have a big hole to fill in the lineup and a boatload of money to make it happen.

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden predicts that if the Yankees don’t re-sign Judge, “I expect the Yankees to quickly pivot and attempt to sign Justin Verlander or Jacob deGrom along with an outfielder such as (Brandon) Nimmo.”

Justin Verlander

According to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees’ “confidence level on Verlander is low” but “Yankees people very much like (Carlos) Rodon.”

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports the potential suitors for Verlander, the three-time Cy Young Award winner, include the Yankees and New York Mets. The other teams on Feinsand’s list of Verlander suitors include the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays.

Jacob deGrom

DeGrom is believed to be eyeing the record-setting three-year, $130 million contract signed last year by Mets teammate Max Scherzer.

On Wednesday, SNY’s Andy Martino reported “With the Rangers now appearing very interested in a free agent starter Carlos Rodon, per league sources, could the situation be breaking the Mets way? After all, if the Rangers pass on deGrom, who other than the Mets will offer deGrom a three-year contract?”

The Rangers had been viewed as the Mets’ primary competition for deGrom.

Martino reported Tuesday “I don’t think the Yankees are signing deGrom or (Kodai) Senga. That’s the feeling I have from reporting. I think the Mets can end up with both of them. I don’t think the Yankees are going to sign either

That came one day after SNY reported “The Yankees recently requested medical information on deGrom, according to a league source. … The Yankees are just the fourth team, including the Mets, known to express interest.”

On Saturday, the New York Post’s Mike Puma reported “the Rangers, (Los Angeles) Dodgers, (Chicago) Cubs and Yankees are among the other teams that could be in play for deGrom, whose previous deal called for him to receive $32.5 million next season.”

Brandon Nimmo

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports “The Giants, Rays and Blue Jays are among the many teams in on Brandon Nimmo, plus the Mets, of course.” Heyman also reports the New York Yankees have been “in contact with Brandon Nimmo, too, but he’s expensive enough that he’d likely only be in play if (Aaron) Judge were to leave.”

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Monday the Blue Jays make sense for Nimmo following Toronto’s deal which sent All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners.

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Last week, SNY’s Andy Martino reported that Nimmo is meeting personally with teams and that several teams have expressed that they would move their centerfielder to a corner for Nimmo. Martino reports that the list of interested clubs includes the Mets, Yankees, Colorado Rockies and Blue Jays “and that is far from a complete accounting.”

Keep in mind the Mets are not hiding the fact they are serious about re-signing Nimmo. He’s believed to be the club’s top priority after closer Edwin Diaz re-signed earlier this month.

MORE MLB:

Giants’ pitch to Yankees’ Aaron Judge includes full-court press from NBA legend

Yankees ‘hold edges’ over NL powers in Aaron Judge sweepstakes, MLB insider says

Ex-MVP joins list of free-agent outfielders being pursued by Yankees

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at [email protected].

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