Brian Cashman
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The New York Yankees acquired Joe Mantiply in a deal after the hard deadline by exploiting a loophole that allows a specific type of trade.

Joe Mantiply, a one-time Detroit Tigers reliever, has been acquired by the New York Yankees from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for cash considerations according to Yankees PR.

How could the Yankees make a trade after the hard trade deadline on July 31? It was very sneaky by general manager Brian Cashman, but the trade is well within the rules. According to MLB Rule 9(b)(3):

“No Major League Uniform Player’s Contract (including for outrighted players) shall be traded to another Major League Club during the period commencing 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 31 (the ‘Major League Trade Deadline’) and ending upon the day that the last game of the World Series starts.”

While the rule clearly states that no major-league players can be traded—and that includes players on a major-league contract but not on the 40-man roster—minor leaguers on minor-league contracts can be traded after the deadline.

Mantiply, a 27th-round draft pick by the Tigers in 2013, previously spent time with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017, pitching to a 2.83 ERA in 70 innings. Mantiply spent some time with the Tigers in 2016, struggling to a 16.88 ERA in 2.2 innings pitched.

Mantiply appears to be nothing more than minor-league depth at the moment, but things may change come Sept. 1 when major league rosters expand to 40 players. Currently, the Yankees have 39 players on the 40-man roster, but roster moves will be coming shortly when Dellin Betances and Luis Severino (hopefully) make their returns to the mound.

On the active roster, the Yankees have three left-handed relievers in Zack Britton, closer Aroldis Chapman, and Nestor Cortes Jr.

Cashman has struck gold with these types of trades before, so do not be surprised if Joe Mantiply turns into a solid reliever come September.