In another sign that Aaron Judge may not be back that quickly, the Yankees have checked in with the Diamondbacks about Starling Marte, The Post has learned.
The Yankee offense has been struggling without many of their key bats. DJ LeMahieu returned from the IL on Saturday, but the Yanks are still without Judge (calf), Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) and Gleyber Torres (hamstring).
The Yankees were hoping to get Torres back in about a week and Stanton in 10 days, but with Judge this feels like 2018 when the Yankees and the outfielder were racing against the clock to get him back in time for the postseason. That year, to cover for the absent Judge, the Yankees made an Aug. 31 trade for Andrew McCutchen that would have much in common with a Marte deal if it fell in place — and the Yankees currently are prioritizing pitching in the market. They are, for example, among the teams that have checked in on Texas’ Lance Lynn.
McCutchen was originally a Pirate, in his first year in the NL West with the Giants and was going to be a free agent at the end of the season. The Yankees obtained the righty hitter and cash considerations for infielder Abiatal Avelino and pitcher Juan De Paula. Marte is an original Pirate who is in his first year in the NL West. The righty hitter can be a free agent after this season, since he has a 2021 option for $12.5 million or a $1 million buyout.
The Twins and Marlins are among contenders who have their eyes on righty bats as the trade deadline approaches at 4 p.m. Monday.
Marte, 32 in October, went into Sunday hitting .322 for the disappointing last-place Diamondbacks, with two homers, five steals and .853 OPS. The righty hitter has played center field for the Diamondbacks but could fit anywhere in the outfield.
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The Yankees are believed to not want to add much, if any salary, and Marte has about $1.77 million left on his contract this year.
The Diamondbacks are among the majors’ most disappointing teams this year, entering Sunday at 14-20 and last in the NL West. Clubs that have been in contact with them describe Arizona as very open for business, with among others struggling starter Robbie Ray (a free agent after the season) and closer Archie Bradley perceive as available.