The San Francisco Giants are scrambling in the wake of Madison Bumgarner's broken left pinkie. The southpaw ace had pins inserted into his throwing hand on Saturday after absorbing a line drive from the Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield and will be out likely until June, per Daniel Brown of the Mercury News.
With right-hander Jeff Samardzija also sidelined by a pectoral injury, the Giants need to bolster a rotation that features Johnny Cueto and a cast of untested youngsters, including Ty Blach and Chris Stratton, plus 31-year-old Derek Holland, who posted a 6.20 ERA last season for the Chicago White Sox.
All of the top- and mid-tier pitching free agents are off the board. San Francisco could go the trade route, however.
MLB Network's Jon Morosi speculated the Giants might link up with the New York Mets, who have weathered multiple injuries to their starting corps in recent years but have a surplus of arms at the moment.
Interestingly, one such arm is right-hander Zack Wheeler, whom the Mets optioned to Triple-A on Saturday, per ESPN.com. Wheeler was chosen sixth overall by the Giants in the 2009 amateur draft before the team dealt him to the Mets in 2011 for outfielder Carlos Beltran.
It's unclear if the Giants possess the trade chips to acquire Wheeler or any of the Mets' arms, especially since New York is "unlikely to make any such move" at the moment, as Morosi noted.
The 30-year-old hit .326 in 18 spring contests with the Chicago Cubs before the Cubbies cut him loose and owns a lifetime .241 average in parts of eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays.