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Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel named Relievers of the Year

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Major League Baseball announced on Saturday that Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen and Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel were named Relievers of  the Year for the National League and the American League, respectively.

Jansen, 30, finished the regular season 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA, an NL-best 41 saves, and a 109/7 K/BB ratio over 68 1/3 innings. It’s the second consecutive year in which Jansen has won the Reliever of the Year Award.

Kimbrel, 29, went 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA, 35 saves, and a 126/14 K/BB ratio in 69 innings of work. This is his first time winning the award, though he did win the annual Delivery Man Award in 2013 and the monthly Delivery Man Award in August 2011, September 2012, and August 2013.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).