AL, NL Reliever of the Year finalists revealed

Chapman, Hendriks, Osuna, Hader, Yates, Smith make the cut

October 18th, 2019

The finalists for this year's Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, both presented by The Hartford, have been unveiled. The Yankees' , the Athletics' and the Astros' are vying for AL honors, while the Brewers' , the Padres' and the Giants' are up for recognition in the NL.

Both awards are scheduled to be presented on Oct. 26, prior to Game 4 of the 115th World Series. From now until 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 25 -- the date of World Series Game 3 -- you can submit a pair of names at to determine the fans' choice for the two winners.

Balloting for the awards will be conducted among a panel of eight all-time great relievers. Rivera and Hoffman, who both spent their entire careers in one league en route to the top of the all-time saves list and eventually Cooperstown, are joined by fellow Hall of Fame relievers Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith, as well as John Franco and Billy Wagner.

The eight voters rank the top three AL relief pitchers and the top three NL relief pitchers based solely on regular-season performance and using a 5-3-1 weighted point system. Commissioner Rob Manfred and an executive from The Hartford typically present the honors along with the awards' namesake closers.

In 2014, these Reliever of the Year Awards replaced the Delivery Man of the Year Award, which had been presented to one winner from 2005-13.

Here's a closer look at the finalists:


Aroldis Chapman, Yankees: Chapman turned in another outstanding season, recording a 2.21 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP and 85 strikeouts in 57 innings. The flamethrowing left-hander also topped the 30-save mark for the seventh time in the past eight years, finishing with 37.

Liam Hendriks, Athletics: A year after being designated for assignment, Hendriks became one of the top relievers in the AL at age 30, posting a 1.80 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 85 innings. He assumed closing duties in place of Blake Treinen -- an AL Reliever of the Year Award finalist last season -- along the way and notched a career-high 25 saves to boot.

Roberto Osuna, Astros: En route to leading the Junior Circuit in saves with 38 and the Majors in games finished with 56, Osuna recorded a 2.63 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP and 73 K's in 65 innings for the AL's winningest team.


Josh Hader, Brewers: Hader, last year's NL Reliever of the Year Award winner, has a strong case to take home the prize again in 2019. Serving as Milwaukee's closer, the southpaw saved 37 games with a 2.62 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. He was often overpowering, registering the fourth highest single-season strikeout rate in history (min. 50 innings) at 47.8 percent and leading all relievers with 138 K's in 75 2/3 innings.

Kirby Yates, Padres: In his first full season as San Diego's closer, Yates was the only big leaguer to reach the 40-save plateau (41), and he led MLB (min. 20 innings) in ERA (1.19) while finishing third in strikeout rate (41.6 percent).

Will Smith, Giants: Smith was a reliable closing option for San Francisco throughout 2019, saving a personal best 34 games in 38 chances and finishing with a 2.76 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 96 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings.