The New York Mets starting rotation took a significant blow on Thursday when the team announced that Johan Santana has possibly suffered a second tear of the anterior capsule in his left shoulder, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.
Many Mets fans will clamor for them to call up rookie phenom Zack Wheeler from Triple-A Las Vegas. However, manager Terry Collins stressed that he needs to face Triple-A hitters before making his major league debut, according to the New York Post's Andy Martino.
With that, the Mets will have to hit the trade market to find a replacement in a rotation that already has Shaun Marcum on the disabled list due to a sore neck.
Here are some possible trade partners for the Mets that can give them a starting pitcher quickly.
Neither Harang or Capuano are sexy names to replace Santana in the rotation, but they're innings eaters that can get the job done at the back of the rotation until Wheeler is ready to head to the major leagues.
Both pitchers were viewed as insurance policies during the spring in case Zack Greinke's or Chad Billingsley's elbows exploded, but it looks as if both will be ready for Opening Day, according to Paul White of USA Today.
That means that the Dodgers have two veteran pitchers that are expendable. This is where the Mets can strike.
With the right package of a mid-level prospect or an infielder to help them deal with the Hanley Ramirez injury, a cross-country move for either of these pitchers is a possibility.
Trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for Jeff Niemann
A lower velocity has caused concern for the Rays in terms of the right-handed starter, but for the Mets to acquire the stopgap they need, it could be worth the risk.
According to ESPN's Jason Stark, the situation could lead to Niemann being put in the bullpen in order to restore his trade value:
Scouts watching Jeff Niemann this month wary of lower velocity but "If they move him to pen he'll be up a tick or 2 & get his value back up"— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 27, 2013
Despite this, the Mets can't afford to wait and may have to trade for Niemann before somebody else does.
Prior to the 2012 season, Niemann had made 59 starts between 2009 and 2010 combined, but fell to 23 in 2011. He'll go out on the mound when the Mets need him, but if he fails, it will likely require little investment.
Trade with the Cleveland Indians for David Huff
Again, the trade market isn't appealing with Opening Day only days away, but the Indians are interested in dealing Huff according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
#Indians have told Ezequiel Carrera and David Huff, both out of options, that they won't make the club and they will try to trade them.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) March 25, 2013
We talked about desperation, and the addition of Huff would be it. He's made 56 starts for the Indians during an on-and-off four-year career, but he doesn't strike people out (5.0 K/9, according to Baseball-Reference) and has a career 5.30 earned run average.
However, most of that damage was done in his first two seasons. Last year, Huff had a respectable 3-1 record to go with a 3.38 ERA in four starts.
Huff fits the mold of most of the pitchers the Mets can acquire in a trade. They all have some flaws, but with the Mets in a bind, it may be the best they can do.