GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Clevinger has reported to the Chicago White Sox for spring training, joining his new team amid an ongoing investigation by Major League Baseball into allegations of domestic violence.
Clevinger addressed the team, apologizing for being a distraction on the first day of camp. The pitcher also told reporters he is confident he will be exonerated.
“I trust the process from MLB, I really do,” Clevinger said Wednesday. “I think there’s a reason I’m sitting in front of you today. I’m just asking everyone to wait before they rush to judgment. Wait until the actual facts are out there, wait until there’s actual evidence, and then make your decision on who you think I am.”
The 32-year-old Clevinger finalized a $12 million, one-year contract with Chicago in December. MLB’s probe predates his agreement with the White Sox.
Chicago general manager Rick Hahn told reporters the team’s “only option” was to allow the right-hander to come to camp while awaiting results of MLB’s investigation. He said the team “can get better” in how it vets potential additions.
“The longer answer is, without anyone having violated the confidentiality of the policy, we weren’t going to find this information out,” Hahn said, “and the fact of the matter is is that the confidentiality element of the policy is essential for it to function properly.”
In an Instagram post on Jan. 24, Olivia 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 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.