The Phillies’ pursuit of big-name starting pitching like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg, can't be ruled out, its more likely that they look to add a name such as Madison Bumgarner.

In fact, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Phillies have checked in on the veteran free agent southpaw.

Yes, the Phils have checked in on Bumgarner, and likely are motivated to keep him away from the Braves, their NL East rivals. The Braves are the team closest to Bumgarner’s hometown of Hickory, N.C., and seem a more natural fit for him than the Phillies.

Bumgarner, 30, is a free agent after going 9-9 in 34 starts, with 3.90 ERA, 1.13 WHIP over 207 2/3 innings for the Giants in 2019.

Bumgarner was given a one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the Giants this week, though he is fully expected to reject it and hit the open market. The Phillies are just one of several teams, per Rosenthal, along with the Braves and Yankees that have already expressed interest in Bumgarner.

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