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New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watching batting practice prior to their spring training game against the against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

By Joe Giglio

It’s never too early to think about the MLB trade deadline.

With the Yankees off to a red-hot start and in American League playoff position, a popular opinion has taken hold among fans and baseball insiders: One year after selling in late July and early August, the Yankees could pivot, buy and go for October a year (or two) ahead of schedule.

During an interview on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman addressed the idea of acting as a buyer this year.

It sounds like he’s ready to do what’s necessary to win now–if the team continues to play well over the next couple of months.

“I think as a general manager you’re in both short-term and long-term planning, especially in New York,” Cashman said. “You’ve got to do both. Ultimately, last year our team declared itself in a way that we had to react to and recognize that it just wasn’t going to be good enough. Now–August through now, which includes spring training when we had the best record in baseball–we’ve been playing superior baseball.”

“So if this team declares itself in a positive way and it needs reinforcements, the opposite is going to come,” Cashman continued. “We’re full-service baseball operations. We’ll recommend what’s necessary, whether that’s buy or sell. I’d be more than happy to be in a conversation with ownership about how we can finish off and improve upon what we already have and see if we can connect with someone on that.”

Heading into play on May 10, the Yankees own a 21-10 record (second in the AL East) and plus-56 run differential (best in baseball). Rumors have already connected the Yankees to Pirates ace Gerrit Cole and Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

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