Blue Jays coach Mark Budzinski leaves team following daughter’s death

Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO — Toronto Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski will be away from the team following the death of his eldest daughter. Julia Budzinski was 17.

“The Budzinskis have been part of our Blue Jays family over the last four seasons,” general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement. “This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization and we grieve alongside Bud and his family. I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first. He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts.”

The Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays lined up along the foul lines before first pitch for a moment of silence. Rays manager Kevin Cash said his team was “heartbroken.”

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, who roomed with Budzinski during his minor league career, expressed support for his grieving friend before Detroit hosted Kansas City.

Elsewhere, Red Sox manager Alex Cora offered a similar message from Chicago, where his team was facing the Cubs.

Bullpen coach Luis Hurtado coached first base in Budzinski’s absence.

Budzinski and manager Charlie Montoyo left the dugout in the third inning of the second game of a doubleheader against Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays’ clubhouse was closed after the 11-5 loss.

Budzinski played four games for Cincinnati in 2003 and retired in 2005. After managing in Cleveland’s minor league system, he joined the then-Indians big league staff in 2017. Toronto hired Budzinski in November 2018.

Report: Mike Clevinger agrees to 1-year deal with White Sox

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.

The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.

Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.