News broke in January that Mike Clevinger was under investigation from the league, as per allegations of domestic violence and child abuse. Major League Baseball announced the results of that investigation today, and Clevinger will not face any suspension or other discipline from the league.
MLB’s statement: “The comprehensive investigation included interviews of more than 15 individuals, in addition to Mr. Clevinger and the complainant, as well as a review of available documents, such as thousands of electronic communication records. The Office of the Commissioner has closed this investigation and, barring the receipt of any new information or evidence, the Office of the Commissioner will not be imposing discipline on Mr. Clevinger in connection with these allegations.
As part of his path forward, Mr. Clevinger has voluntarily agreed to submit to evaluations by the joint treatment boards under the collectively bargained policies, and to comply with any of the boards’ recommendations. MLB will continue to make support services available to Mr. Clevinger, his family, and other individuals involved in the investigation.”
The league’s investigation has been ongoing since last summer, as Olivia Finestead (the mother of Clevinger’s 10-month-old child) told The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang in that January story. The allegations included two incidents where Clevinger was accused of choking Finestead, and another when he slapped her and threw used chewing tobacco on their child. Clevinger’s lawyers “emphatically” denied the charges, calling the allegations “false” and saying that “the simple truth is that Mike has done nothing wrong.”
In regards to the end of the league’s investigation today, Clevinger released his own statement, via the MLB Players Association (Twitter link). “I had nothing to hide and cooperated fully with MLB,” Clevinger said. “This situation has been stressful for my family, and I thank them for their strength and support. I asked everyone not to rush to judgement until MLB’s investigation was concluded, and I appreciate everyone who had faith in me, including the White Sox organization and my teammates. I am looking forward to the 2023 season and helping the White Sox win a championship this year.”
Under the broad purview of the MLB/MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy established in August 2015, the league had the ability to impose a wide range of disciplinary actions against Clevinger. In most cases, discipline takes the form of suspensions without pay, with past suspensions ranging anywhere from 15 games to the record 324 games issued against Trevor Bauer (with Bauer’s suspension later reduced to 194 games by a neutral arbitrator).
The allegations issued against Clevinger came when he was a member of the Padres, and the right-hander then signed with the White Sox for a one-year deal worth $12MM in guaranteed money. (Clevinger earns $8MM in 2023, and there is a $4MM buyout of a mutual option on his services for 2024.) According to a statement from the team when news of the investigation went public, the Sox “were not aware of the allegations or the investigation at the time of [Clevinger’s] signing.” Clevinger was signed to provide essentially replace Johnny Cueto in Chicago’s rotation, as Clevinger will join Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Michael Kopech in the starting five.