Baltimore Orioles closer Félix Bautista and Milwaukee Brewers closer Devin Williams were named the 2023 Relievers of the Year, MLB announced Wednesday. Bautista took home Mariano Reliever AL Reliever of the Year honors unanimously. Williams won the Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year award for the second time.
Bautista was otherworldly this summer, going 33 for 39 in save chances and striking out 110 batters in only 61 innings. He posted a 1.48 ERA. Alas and alack, Bautista's elbow began to act up in August, and he eventually required Tommy John surgery in early October. The timing of the surgery means Baltimore's closer will miss the entire 2024 season.
As for Williams, he had another marvelous season, pitching to a 1.53 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. He went 36 for 40 in save chances. Williams also won Reliever of the Year in 2020. He joins Edwin Díaz, Josh Hader, Liam Hendriks, Kenley Jansen, and Craig Kimbrel as the only relievers to win the award, which has been around since 2005, multiple times.
The two Reliever of the Year awards are voted by a panel of four Hall of Fame relievers -- Hoffman, Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, and Rollie Fingers -- as well as longtime closers John Franco and Billy Wagner. Wagner is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the eighth time this winter and.
Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase was second in the AL voting behind Bautista. Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano finished third. Pittsburgh Pirates righty David Bednar and Hader, who was with the San Diego Padres this year before becoming a free agent, finished second and third behind Williams, respectively.