White Sox put starting pitcher Mike Clevinger on waivers

Right-hander signed in a swirl of controversy has been the Sox’ best starter in 2023.

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Mike Clevinger was placed on waivers by the White Sox. (Getty Images)

Mike Clevinger of the White Sox throws against the Oakland Athletics at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 27, 2023 in Chicago. (Getty Images)

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BALTIMORE — A strong case can be made that right-hander Mike Clevinger has been the White Sox’ best starting pitcher this season.

On Tuesday, the Sox put him on waivers.

As teams out of contention look to save a month’s worth of salary, Clevinger joined a list of players — including former Sox right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, who suffered the same fate with the Angels — who could help a contender down the stretch.

The Sox signed Clevinger, 32, to a one-year, $12 million contract in the offseason that called for an $8 million salary and a $4 million buyout on a $12 million mutual option for next season. Any team that claims him on waivers would have to pay him about $1.4 million for the rest of the season.

It might be money well spent. In 18 starts covering 97‰ innings, Clevinger has a 3.32 ERA, better than any Sox starter. Healthy again after missing six weeks with biceps inflammation, Clevinger pitched seven innings of one-run, one-hit ball with 10 strikeouts Sunday against the Athletics and has a 2.31 ERA in his last six starts.

Clevinger said Sunday he would be open to returning next season, and some have suggested the Sox try to bring him back, given the questions about their 2024 rotation.

The Sox signed Clevinger before it became known that he was accused of domestic violence and child abuse. The team was heavily criticized for the move, but an investigation by MLB found no clear evidence of wrongdoing.

Teams have 47 hours from the time Clevinger went on waivers to claim him. If he goes unclaimed, the Sox could release him, affording him a chance to go to a contender after the waiver period expires. Players must be claimed before Aug. 31 to be eligible for the postseason.

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