Injuries are always a major cause for concern in the MLB, and some teams are forced to deal with major ones at the beginning of the year.
Many teams may be lacking strong internal replacements and are forced to use players that will struggle to hold down the fort while a star is out.
Teams should look to the trade market to fill some of their biggest injury losses. It would allow them to get off to a strong start and provide them with improved chances of succeeding without their injured star.
Two years ago, the New York Mets brought in Chris Capuano to try to improve their pitching staff. He did a fairly good job as he won 11 games for the team.
Now, thanks to the fact that Johan Santana is going to miss the entire season, the Mets are in need of a starter once again. The Los Angeles Dodgers have extra pitching, and they could look to move Capuano.
He would serve as a cheap option for the Mets, and he would certainly stay on their roster even after Zack Wheeler gets called up.
With a bevy of injured stars, the New York Yankees are trying to find a way to keep themselves afloat in the competitive American League East before their big names return.
With both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez on the DL, the Yankees could use a short-term replacement who can remain as a bench player once they are healthy. Jamey Carroll may not be a big name, but he would be an interesting piece to add to the Yankees roster.
Considering all of the pressure on the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, losing Hanley Ramirez for the start of the year is certainly a cause for concern.
While Ramirez only spent some time at third base last season, the Dodgers could look to pick up a third baseman in his absence. Ramirez would continue to play at shortstop this season without any questions of him being moved because of the performance of Dee Gordon in the minors.
Mike Olt might not be a replacement for Ramirez per se, but he would help contribute offensively and fill in for some of the lost production. Since Olt is a man without a position in Texas, it is possible that the Dodgers could pull off a trade with the Rangers.
The Texas Rangers have a number of starters that are currently on the disabled list as a result of a variety of injuries. Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz and Martin Perez will all miss significant time this season.
While the Rangers did have some starting pitching depth, they could use another talented starter for the back end of their starting rotation. Considering all of the pitching that the Tampa Bay Rays have, the Rangers would be wise to consider a deal for Jeff Niemann.
The contract extension signed by Elvis Andrus has led to some fairly crazy trade rumors involving Jurickson Profar. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has mentioned that he would consider a Profar for Oscar Taveras swap (h/t Jim Bowden of ESPN).
That potentially mega-deal would make a lot of sense for both teams as it would give the Cardinals a shortstop that could play at a high level and replace Rafael Furcal, while it would provide the Rangers with a potential MVP outfielder.