MLB investigating domestic-violence allegations against White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger

The Sox signed Clevinger to a one-year contract as a free agent in December.

SHARE MLB investigating domestic-violence allegations against White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger
Pitcher Mike Clevinger, who was acquired by the White Sox during the offseason, is being investigated by Major League Baseball for allegations of domestic violence.

Pitcher Mike Clevinger, who was acquired by the White Sox during the offseason, is being investigated by Major League Baseball for allegations of domestic violence.

Gregory Bull/AP

White Sox right-hander Mike Clevinger is being investigated by Major League Baseball for allegations of domestic violence involving the mother of his 10-month-old daughter, as well as child abuse.

The Sox, who signed Clevinger to a one-year contract in December, acknowledged the investigation into allegations made by Olivia Finestead, who provided MLB with details of incidents involving physical, verbal and emotional abuse and detailed claims against Clevinger on Tuesday on Instagram. Finestead has been in contact with MLB since last summer.

Finestead said Clevinger, 32, choked her and later slapped her in a hotel room. She also said Clevinger threw used chewing tobacco on their child.

‘‘Major League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox take any and all allegations very seriously, and the White Sox are completely supportive of the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy shared by MLB and the MLBPA,’’ the White Sox said in a statement Tuesday. ‘‘MLB opened an investigation after learning of these allegations. The White Sox were not aware of the allegations or the investigation at the time of his signing. The White Sox will refrain from comment until MLB’s investigative process has reached its conclusion.’’

It’s not the best look for an organization that hired Tony La Russa to manage the team in October 2020, a day after he was charged with a second DUI. The Sox said they were aware of those charges when they made the hire.

MLB has the authority under the joint policy to issue discipline, regardless of whether a player faces charges or is convicted.

The Sox don’t know when the investigation, which began last summer, will end. A social-media post from Finestead said that Clevinger ‘‘threw an iPad at me pregnant’’ and that ‘‘he strangled me.’’ Finestead posted photos of her alleged injuries.

Clevinger’s lawyer, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement that said, “Mike emphatically denies the accusations made by Ms. Finestead.”

“He has never harmed Ms. Finestead or his daughter,” Reisinger said. “We will not comment on Ms. Finestead’s motive for bringing these false allegations. Her baseless threats and accusations over the last few months have regrettably escalated, culminating most recently in deeply disturbing threats toward Mike and Mike’s family. Her threats and her pattern of abusive behavior are well documented. The simple truth is that Mike has done nothing wrong. He is a loving and caring father. We have advised Mike not to comment on this matter.”

While the Sox are being questioned about whether they did their due diligence on Clevinger before signing him to a free-agent contract, they maintain knowledge of such investigations, which are confidential, aren’t shared by MLB until findings are announced. The organization doesn’t have a sense for when that will happen.

In 2020, Cleveland put Clevinger and fellow right-hander Zach Plesac on the restricted list after they broke team rules and MLB protocols by leaving their hotel in Chicago and risking exposure to COVID-19.

Clevinger was 7-7 and had a 4.33 ERA in 114⅓ innings last season with the Padres. He is being counted on to round out a starting rotation that also features right-handers Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

The Latest
He fears the free-spirited guest, with her ink and underarm hair, will steal focus from the bride and draw ridicule.
Southwest Side native Valery Pineda writes of how she never thought the doors of the downtown skyscrapers would be open to her — and how she got there and found her career.
The Catholic church’s transparency on accusations of sexual abuse by clergy members, including the Rev. Mark Santo, remains inconsistent and lacking across the United States, clouding the extent of the crisis more than 20 years after it exploded into view.
About 14% of those in the apprenticeship program found permanent full-time employment with the transit agency, a Sun-Times investigation found. Others, some strung along for years, remained in low-paying roles with no benefits.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians help Conn-Selmer’s quest for the perfect instrument.