Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that Major League Baseball will annually honor the top relief pitchers in the game with the "Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award" and the "Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award." The titles of the awards honor Baseball's all-time leaders in saves, both of whom spent their entire careers in one League: the 13-time A.L. All-Star Rivera (652 saves) and the seven-time N.L. All-Star Hoffman (601 saves).
A panel of nine of the greatest relief pitchers in history will vote on the recipients of the new awards. In addition to Rivera and Hoffman, other voters will include the four living Hall of Fame relief pitchers - Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich "Goose" Gossage and Bruce Sutter - and the three relievers who round out the top five in career saves - Lee Smith (478 saves), John Franco (424 saves) and Billy Wagner (422 saves).
The nine voters will rank the top three A.L. relief pitchers and the top three N.L. relief pitchers, based solely on regular season performance. Using a 5-3-1 weighted point system (i.e., five points for a first-place vote; three points for a second-place vote; and one point for a third-place vote), the Award in each League will be given to the relief pitcher who accrues the most total points.
The new honors will replace MLB's "Delivery Man of the Year Award," which was presented to one winner in all of Major League Baseball from 2005-2013. Voting on that award was conducted by a panel designated by Major League Baseball.
Commissioner Selig said: "Both Mariano and Trevor represented our sport magnificently on and off the mound and earned the universal respect of our fans in their legendary careers. I believe it is appropriate to redefine an existing award in honor of their contributions to Baseball, and I am delighted that many of the most decorated relievers in history will select the winners."