Greg Holland has won the Mariano Rivera Award.
Greg Holland has won the Mariano Rivera Award. (USATSI)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Back in April, Major League Baseball announced that a new award would be handed out on an annual basis to the best relief pitcher in each league. The AL version of the award is now known as the Mariano Rivera Award, and the first winner of it is Royals closer Greg Holland.

The announcement was made by commissioner-to-be Rob Manfred before Game 2 of the 2014 World Series, with Craig Kimbrel winning the NL version, the Trevor Hoffman Award. 

"This is a very humbling experience," said Holland. "You kinda get iffy any time your name is put on a plaque with these two guys [Rivera and Trevor Hoffman]."

Holland, 28, closed down 46 of his 48 save chances for the Royals with a 1.44 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings this season. For the second straight time, he was named an All-Star.