Venters’ comeback was nothing short of astounding. He returned to the bigs for the first time since 2012, undergoing two Tommy John surgeries in that span. Which were, in fact, his second and third Tommy John surgeries overall. This year he went 5-2 with three saves and a 3.67 ERA over 50 appearances, 22 of which came with the Tampa Bay Rays. He’d probably have won the award even if his arm fell off in his fifth outing, to be honest. That he was an effective full-time reliever was frankly amazing.
Price’s comeback was not anywhere near as dramatic, but it was a comeback all the same. Limited by injury to just 16 games in 2017 — 11 of which came as starts — Price returned to full time action in 2018, going 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA over 30 starts. It wasn’t a dramatic improvement in any rate stats or anything, but simply being back on the field more was a key part of helping the Red Sox win the World Series.