Mike Clevinger investigated by MLB for domestic violence

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Chicago White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger is being investigated by Major League Baseball following an allegation of domestic violence.

Olivia Finestead publicly revealed the allegations in an Instagram post. Clevinger, a 32-year-old right-hander and a six-year major league veteran, agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract as a free agent that was announced on Dec. 4.

“MLB opened an investigation after learning of these allegations,” the team said in a statement. “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.”

Jay Reisinger, a lawyer for Clevinger, 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.”

Finestead said she is the mother of Clevinger’s child and alleged he fathered two other children who were not hers. She posted a photo of marks on her body with accompanying words that alleged the injuries were “from when he threw an iPad at me pregnant” and “finally left when he strangled me.”

“Mike Clevinger,” she added, “you really deserve hell I’ve kept quiet now for almost a year and you continue to covertly abuse your infant.” She said Clevinger “threw chew spit on our baby.”

The Athletic reported Finestead told the outlet she notified MLB of her allegations last summer.

The Associated Press typically does not identify victims of domestic violence or sexual assault unless they agree to be named or come forward publicly with their allegations, as Finestead has.

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA for Cleveland (2016-20) and San Diego (2021-22). He was 0-1 in a pair of postseason starts for the Padres.

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was suspended for two seasons by MLB last April under the domestic violence policy following an investigation that started the previous July. The suspension was cut to 194 games by an arbitrator last month, and the Dodgers released the 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner. The suspension cost Bauer more than $37 million from his $102 million, three-year contract through the 2023 season.

Bauer has denied the allegations.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.