Reason 1: During his cup of coffee interview with SB midseason, TLR addressed his philosophy with closers. He felt that when you had a good team that was likely to have a lead after 6 innings, then you need to really take advantage of that by shortening the games and get it to a good closer quickly. If your team is still not quite there, then the need for a closer is not that great. This is not earth shattering, but it should be quite clear where TLR thinks this team is right now, and based on his stated thought process, it only makes sense he will try to strengthen the bullpen.
Reason 2. They already pretty much proved that they are following TLR's script when they made their much publicized run at Chapman.
Reason 3: As great as Greinke is, he doesn't go past 7 IP very often. Last year he went 8 or more innings just 6 times, which was just 15th most in MLB . Over the last 3 years he has gone 8 IP or more just 15 times, the 17th highest total. TLR is not going to want to risk having Greinke end up with too high a number of blown games after he turns it over to the pen to start the 8th. D Backs weren't bad at this last year at all, but they will want to have more insurance.
Add to that Corbin's innings limit, and Robbie Ray's challenges getting deep into games, and it stands to reason that the D Backs bullpen will still carry a heavy load in 2016. It shouldn't be as bad as 2015, but they still need more depth and quality in the pen.
So for these reasons, I am fairly certain they either try to bolster the setup situation, or they get a closer and move Ziggler back to setup and fireman duties in the 7th and 8th.
We've all seen Jim's articles on why it doesn't make sense to go after closers in Free Agency or Trade Market, and for the most part, I agree with him. If I have a chance to speak with any of the D Backs coaches, I would ask them why not move Chase Anderson to the pen. He has that + + Changeup, and if he is one of those guys that would pick up 2 MPH out of the pen, and he can just focus on FB command and the change and not have to worry about working in a 3rd pitch, I think he would be a great closer candidate. They haven't gone that route though, and no indications they will.
At this point I'm pretty convinced they will make a move. So for us armchair pundits I think we should turn our attention to analyzing the reliever market and try to figure out what they should do or what they are most likely to do.
To that end, I'll provide a few links:
Trade Rumors article on Cubs closer search (It's the Cubs, but instructive)
Trade Rumors FA Tracker (You can use the filter drop down at top right to search and sort by closer or reliever)
A list of relievers from 2015 who had minimum 40 IP, FIP less than 4, and K/9 of 8 or higher. Ranked by WAR. Note number 85
OK....so have at it. If you think they should sign a FA, throw out the name and the dollars you propose. If you think they should try to trade for one of the non FA relievers on other teams, don't just throw out the name, but also who you think the D Backs would need to give up to get the guy and keep in mind the other team's needs.
I'll Start: Joakim Soria Reportedly seeking 3/27 contract. No apparent loss of velocity, appears healthy and effective still. If the D Backs really still have 14-16 M a year to blow on Mike Leake, they might be better off signing Soria for 9M a year to strengthen the pen perhaps. What do you think?