The 2016 awards ceremony represents just the third year in which MLB has recognized the top bullpen arms in each respective league. From 2005 to 2013, one outstanding relief pitcher was selected for the Delivery Man of the Year Award, with previous winners including 2013 nominee Craig Kimbrel and three-time winner Mariano Rivera. Since 2014, the NL winner has been presented with the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, while the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award goes to the best AL relief pitcher.
Britton was a force to be reckoned with in 2016, logging 67 innings for the Orioles with an 0.54 ERA, 74 strikeouts and 47 saves. His ERA ranks lowest among any Reliever of the Year winner to date, eclipsing even Fernando Rodney‘s mark of 0.60 during the 2012 season. He also set a new record for the lowest ERA among any pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched in a single season.
Jansen converted 47 saves for the Dodgers alongside a 1.83 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 9.45 was the highest among MLB relievers in both leagues, and his second-half 0.70 WHIP and 10.60 K/BB rate were instrumental as the Dodgers chased their fourth consecutive NL West championship.
President of The Hartford and award sponsor Doug Elliot helped Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred deliver the awards on Saturday evening, and had this to say about the two relievers:
Congratulations to Zach Britton and Kenley Jansen for their outstanding performances this season. Zach and Kenley consistently deliver for their teams during the biggest moments of a game. At The Hartford, we are committed to doing the same for our customers by ensuring they prevail when the unexpected happens.