The Phillies have a long winter shopping list and one of them has repeatedly mentioned to be a left-handed starting pitcher.  The Phillies, who have not had a regular lefty in the rotation since 2016, have been linked to the likes of J.A. Happ and Patrick Corbin.  But maybe the Phillies could shoot even higher: San Francisco Giants lefty ace Madison Bumgarner.

According to MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports the Phillies have had some sort of discussions with the San Francisco Giants:

Multiple sources indicated Monday that the Giants are willing to engage with other teams about the possibility of dealing their ace and three-time World Series champion. The Brewers and Phillies are among the teams that have had at least preliminary dialogue about trading for Bumgarner, sources say.

The Phillies appear to mean business.

Bumgarner is set to make just $12 million in 2019, his last season before free agency.  That means the Phillies will still have significant financial resources to add other talent.  That means the Phillies have competing in 2019 on their minds.

While the Phillies have eyed stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, they may not wait around to see where they might sign.  They might be more aggressive. In a separate piece, Morosi writes the Phillies could be in on many other names:

In practice, that approach means the Phillies could sign a starting pitcher, closer and an outfielder who costs less than Harper. Sources say the Phils have interest in starters Patrick CorbinNathan Eovaldi and J.A. Happ; closers Craig Kimbrel and Zach Britton; and outfielders Michael Brantley and A.J. Pollock, among other free agents.

A collection of talent could benefit the Phillies more than one star.

Of course, the Phillies could sign one star and other games, since their payroll commitments remain low.  Finding a way to add 10-15 wins to the team that they had in 2018 could come from spreading that talent around.  So when will the activity finally commence?

The Winter Meetings begin on December 10 in Las Vegas, with executives arriving on the 9th.  There is traditionally a good amount of activity during those meetings.  But as we saw the Atlanta Braves take catcher Brian McCann and third baseman Josh Donaldson off of the board yesterday, the activity might just be beginning now.