By Sam Bush

The Major League meetings this week in Scottsdale is the unofficial start of the trading season, and Phillies rumors are everywhere.

According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the Phils are  looking to add a couple of starting pitchers during the offseason — one on a big deal and another on a short-term contract.

The Phillies have been mentioned as a potential destination for ace right-hander Gerrit Cole, so he will surely be on their radar in the coming weeks, even if the general consensus is that Cole will end up with either the Los Angeles Angels or the New York Yankees.

If they miss on Cole, there are still a host of options the club can turn its attention to, such as Stephen Strasburg (above), Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Aaron Nola was the only Phillies’ starting pitcher with an ERA under 4 this past season, coming in at 3.87. The rest of the rotation was a disaster, and the bullpen wasn’t much better.

As a result, the Phillies, who were expected to contend for an NL East title at the beginning of the year, won just 81 games and missed the playoffs for the eighth straight season.

Philly has not posted a single winning campaign during that span, and its relatively disappointing 2019 season resulted in the firing of manager Gabe Kapler, who was at the helm for two years. The Phils replaced Kapler with former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi.