Zach Britton of the Orioles and Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers have been named the Mariano Rivera American League and Trevor Hoffman National League Relievers of the Year. The ceremony took place prior to Game 3 of the World Series tonight at Wrigley Field. The two closers were presented with the honors by Commissioner Manfred, Doug Elliot, president of the Hartford, and former closers and namesakes of the honor Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera.
Britton and Jansen both represented their respective teams in the All-Star game. Both closers recorded 47 saves, en-route to leading their respective ball clubs to the postseason.
Britton made a strong case for the Cy Young Award, and was virtually unbeatable. Britton led Baltimore to the AL Wild Card game. The lockdown closer owned an outstanding 0.54 ERA with 47 saves in 47 opportunities. Opponents only hit to an average of .162, and had only 38 hits, only one of which were home runs, in 67 innings. O’s manager Buck Showalter said about his closer, “nobody’s meant more to their club than Zach Britton has meant to our club.”
Jansen helped lead the Dodgers to the NLCS where they lost to the Chicago Cubs. Jansen led the majors with a 0.67 WHIP and had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (104/35) in the National League. The dominant Dodgers closer was second in the National League with 47 saves. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw said that Jansen’s stuff is one thing, but his competitiveness is another. “The willingness and the want-to that he has, the competitiveness that you’re seeing right now is special.”
Balloting for the Rivera and Hoffman Awards was conducted by a panel of eight all-time great relievers. Rivera and Hoffman, both of whom spent their entire careers in the same league en route to the top of the all-time saves list, were joined by Hall of Fame relievers Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter as well as Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner. The panel includes the six all-time saves leaders.