St Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta underwent surgery on Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and will be out until mid-season, general manager John Mozeliak confirmed.
Peralta - a three-time MLB All-Star - can expect to be in a cast for at least four to six weeks before even beginning a rehabilitation process that will take at least another month.
And because the three-time defending National League (NL) Central champions are expecting to be without Peralta until June at the earliest, other teams are circling.
However, Mozeliak is preaching patience.
"Everyone's sort of pounding on, 'What are we going to do?' I think I'd like to see what we have first and then determine what's next," Mozeliak said.
"Obviously, our goal is to be competitive this year, and, if we feel we need to go outside the organization to improve on those odds, then we will. Right now, I don't think that's something we feel we have to do at all."
Mozeliak said general managers of other teams have been calling -- he characterized the calls as "ambulance chasing" -- to discuss the availability of utility players as well as high-priced veteran shortstops.
The Cardinals are evaluating in-house options: former San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko, acquired in the off-season; utility player Greg Garcia; and prospect Aledmys Diaz.
Typically in the number three, four or five spot in the line-up in 2015, Peralta batted .275/.334/.411 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 155 games.