Mike Clevinger Scandal Looms Over White Sox Camp

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On Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox opened the doors to pitchers and catchers to begin preparations for the 2023 season. Rick Hahn spoke with the media for the first time this spring training and the questions were almost solely focused on one player, not the team. Mike Clevinger who the front office jumped the market for with a one-year deal worth eight million dollars was in attendance and working out with the team. While Clevinger was initially a risky move from a baseball perspective, Sox fans seemed to welcome the move. Fast-forward to late January when news broke of an investigation dating back to June of 2022, the White Sox had yet again made a very questionable move.

Clevinger The Pitcher

Clevinger had apparently been on the White Sox radar for some time according to general manager Rick Hahn’s comments on Wednesday. Hahn stated the Sox were part of the conversations with Cleveland in 2020 where they ultimately dealt Clevinger to the San Diego Padres amid a breaking of covid protocols during a road trip in Chicago playing against these very White Sox. Hahn went on to say there were several conversations about “what are we getting here from a makeup standpoint” referring to Clevinger’s maturity and personal behavior. You can check out the entire media session here.

Questioning the move from a pure baseball perspective is valid. Clevinger posted a 4.33 ERA over 22 starts and 114.0 innings as a member of the San Diego Padres. While these numbers are not the worst, jumping the market for them from a pitcher who has an extensive injury history coupled with a questionable at-best behavior track record makes little sense for a team looking to compete for a championship in 2023. Yes, the White Sox were looking to fill the fifth spot in their rotation and were not looking for a front-of-the-rotation piece like Justin Verlander or Jacob DeGrom so the move makes a little more sense from that perspective however, there were seemingly better, safer options for the White Sox. Noah Syndergaard signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers for just 13 million dollars while others like White Sox 2022 starter Johnny Cueto signed in Miami for just 8.5 million.


Clevinger is being accused of domestic abuse involving the mother of his 10-month daughter, and abuse of his daughter. The domestic allegations include physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. According to Olivia Finestead, the accuser, In June of 2022, Clevinger choked her. Two weeks later she alleges an incident in which Clevineger slapped her and threw used chewing tobacco on their daughter. If any part of these allegations become factual or are proven to be true, Clevinger should be, and likely will be suspended from major league baseball.

White Sox Options

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made a statement saying this about the reasoning for Clevinger not being immediately placed on administrative leave. ” It’s not an automatic thing. It’s a product of what we know in the investigation at this point in time. It depends on what we have, and where we have,” Manfred said, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

The black cloud that is being allowed to hover over this squad as they attempt to bounce back from a terrible 2022 without their proverbial leader is avoidable but the White Sox are getting no assistance from major league baseball and if they want to relieve Clevinger of his duties, they will likely be on the hook for the entirety of the contract. Many podcasts and content providers have stated, they don’t care implying the White Sox should eat the money and rid themselves of the nuisance.

Knowing how the White Sox tend to operate, this will not happen. I hate to say it White Sox fans, but be prepared to see Mike Clevinger in a White Sox uniform pitching for them every fifth day until the conclusion of this matter. Clevinger seemed confident in his presser that he will be exonerated on all accusations and that his availability to the 2023 White Sox will be strictly baseball related. Time will tell.

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Andy is a huge White Sox fan who loves his family, baseball, and all things sports. Andy coaches youth baseball in his local community and passionately covers the White Sox for Overtime Heroics.