Pitchers Liam Hendriks of the Oakland Athletics and Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Brewers have won their league’s respective Reliever of the Year Awards. Hendricks is the winner of the Mariano Rivera Award for the American League, while Williams takes home the National League’s Trevor Hoffman Award. The news was announced late Saturday morning.
— MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2020
Hendricks and Williams Named Relievers of the Year
Both players were incredible this year. Hendricks was one of the best Athletics on the roster. He produced 1.4 WAR in 25 1/3 innings with a 1.78 ERA and 37 strikeouts. Oakland has often relied on a strong bullpen in recent years, but Hendricks took it to another level after an All-Star caliber 2019. It’s hard to believe improving on a 1.80 ERA in 85 innings, but the 31-year-old found a way. He definitely earned the Rivera Award.
Williams was perhaps even more impressive. The former second-round selection posted an astounding 0.33 ERA in 27 innings with 53 strikeouts and nine walks. 2020 was a significant improvement from a 3.95 ERA in 13 2/3 innings in 2019. Obviously, the shortened season had a higher likelihood of extreme numbers like these but it was still very impressive. Williams and Hendricks dominated their relief roles. Fans will be very excited about those two going into 2021.
What This Means for the Future
Oakland will need to decide how much Hendricks is worth in the offseason. 2020 represents the final year of team control before free agency. He made a prorated $5.3 million in 2020. That is a bargain for two consecutive years of excellence but he is a reliever heading into an uncertain market. Decreased revenues will affect a team like Oakland more than some others and force a hard decision about its most prominent reliever.
Milwaukee does not have the same decision about Williams. The 26-year-old is still in pre-arbitration and will not cost significant money for several years. It is easy to project the younger bullpen arm for a major role next season.
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