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Yankees bet on arms past their primes

Freddy Garcia

Freddy Garcia Photo Credit: Getty Images

How times have changed in Yankeeland.

The Bombers used to play “Let’s Make A Deal” with every high-priced free agent available. Now, in light of a failed offseason search for starting pitching, they’re playing “Let’s Take a Chance” with the league’s has-beens.

At least they’re not spending a fortune doing it. In the past week, general manager Brian Cashman signed two former All-Star starters — 37-year-old Bartolo Colon and 35-year-old Freddy Garcia — to minor league contracts. According to the New York Post, Garcia will get $1.5 million if he makes the team, and up to $3.6 million if he hits all his incentives.

Colon will earn $900,000 if he makes the roster. That’s $2.4 million for two potential starters. It’s a chance, but it’s cheap; even more so if the deals for the two bulky bodies are judged by the pound.

The risk, if any exists, is that neither beats out prospects Andrew Brackman, Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances, Manuel Banuelos and inconsistent veteran Sergio Mitre for the final two rotation spots available. And that risk increases if Andy Pettitte decides to return as the fourth starter.

Health is also a concern. Colon hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009, and Garcia comes off his first healthy season since 2006.

The failure to lure Cliff Lee in free agency has left the Yankees in panic mode. Their solution is to stockpile as many arms as possible, as cheaply as possible, and hope that one of them works out.

Not the best way to build a staff.

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