Orioles have been in contact with Nate Schierholtz

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The defending AL East-champion Orioles have been linked in recent weeks to free agent outfielders like Norichika Aoki and Colby Rasmus, but Aoki signed with the Giants on Monday and Rasmus agreed to a deal Tuesday with the Astros. So, what now?

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the O’s have been “in contact this winter” with free agent Nate Schierholtz, adding that he’s someone the club has “courted” before. Connolly also says the Orioles could revisit their interest in Ichiro Suzuki, who remains without a contract for his age-41 season.

Schierholtz hit just .195/.243/.309 with seven homers and 37 RBI in 122 games last season between the Cubs and Nationals, but he had 21 homers and 68 RBI in 137 games for Chicago in 2013. He turns 31 next month.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.