Due to the Hal-Cap™, the Yankees need to find cheaper, riskier, higher variance players and hope to hit the jackpot by winning the upside lotto. Starting pitchers who fit this description tend to be older and/or have a recent history of injuries, but also have some higher end peripheral skills hidden away.

Here are four cheap under-the-radar options:

Jeff Niemann

Niemann is a huge injury risk. He’s experienced repeated shoulder troubles, and rotator cuff surgery forced him to miss the entire 2013 season. He also missed much of 2012, but that was because of a fluke comebacker that fractured his leg. That injury interrupted a 3.65 xFIP season for Niemann, following up a 2011 breakout season where he posted a 3.73 xFIP in 135 IP.

Niemann was a highly touted prospect (4th overall pick for the Rays), managed two full seasons in 2009 and 2010 (180 and 174 IP), and has improved his xFIP every year in the majors. He will be just 31 in 2014, and will come super cheap. Niemann was only going to cost the Rays about $4 million next season, but they outrighted him and he chose to become a free agent.

Chris Capuano

The perennially underrated 35-year-old journeyman is a free again after the Dodgers declined his $8 million option. Old School GM Ned Colletti may have been put off by Capuano’s ho-hum 4.26 ERA, but that hid a 3.60 xFIP. In fact, Cappy has kept his xFIP under 4 for four straight seasons. In two of those seasons, he pitched 186 and 198 innings. Capuano has seen his share of DL time, but that means a guy with solid skills will be available on a one-year deal.

Colby Lewis

Lewis missed the second half of 2012 with a torn flexor tendon. He missed the first half of 2013 due to elbow surgery. Then, he missed the second half because of bone spurs in his hip.

While he’s a big injury risk, he’s also is a player who went to Japan and apparently found a vending machine that sold very effective manuals on pitching mechanics. Lewis posted WARs of 4.9, 2.5, and 2.2 with the Rangers after returning from the Nipponese leagues. He is likely to be had on a incentive-laden one-year deal.

Roy Oswalt

Oswalt has pitched 14 major league seasons, endured back issues that pushed him to the border of retirement, and has gone on the Roger Clemens plan: sitting out the first half of the season until a playoff contender plucks him out of free agency.

Despite this, Oswalt is still only 36 (a toddler in Yankeeland), plans to pitch a full season in 2014, and retains exceptional skills. His 2012 5.80 ERA and 2013 8.63 ERA hide xFIPs of 3.27 and 3.39. Oswalt is clearly a gamble, but he is just as clearly a pitcher with high upside. His recent peripherals line up with his career 127 ERA+, good for 7th among active pitchers.

After Sabathia and Nova, the Yankees have to fill potentially three open rotation slots. Considering their payroll restrictions and current team strength, it is imperative that they gamble on some smart risks in order to maximize the rotation’s upside. Of course, the Yankee front office has the cutting edge creativity of an Eagles cover band, so don’t get your hopes up.