Mike Clevinger, a starting pitcher who signed with the Chicago White Sox earlier this offseason, is under investigation for allegedly violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
The investigation follows allegations by a woman, Olivia Finestead, who accused Clevinger of physically and emotionally abusing his three children and their two mothers, including herself. She agreed to be named in an interview with The Athletic.
Finestead has been in contact with MLB investigators since last summer, when Clevinger was a member of the San Diego Padres, according to The Athletic, but mentioned her allegations in a series of stories on her Instagram account on Tuesday. In it, she accused Clevinger of “multiple counts of domestic violence and child abuse,” including throwing “chewing spit at a screaming toddler” and strangling him. The latter allegation was posted with a series of photos allegedly the result of acts of violence by Clevinger, a 32-year-old who has played in the major leagues for seven years.
An attorney for Clevinger released a statement Tuesday on behalf of his client, which read, “Mike strongly denies the allegations made by Ms. Finestead.”
“He never harmed Ms. Finestead or his daughter,” attorney Jay Reisinger said. “We will not comment on Ms Finestead’s motive for making these false allegations. Regrettably, her baseless threats and accusations have escalated over the past few months, culminating in deeply disturbing threats against Mike and Mike’s family. Their threats and pattern of abusive behavior are well documented. The simple truth is that Mike did nothing wrong. He is a loving and caring father. We have advised Mike not to comment on the matter.”
In a statement, the Padres said: “We are aware of MLB’s investigation and fully support their efforts under the joint policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are currently unable to comment further.”
The White Sox signed Clevinger to a one-year, $12 million free agent deal in late November — a deal that would pay him an $8 million base salary in 2023 and a $12 million mutual option with a buyout of $4 million included , for 2024 – and claimed they were unaware of the allegations when he signed it.
“Major League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox take all allegations very seriously, and the White Sox fully support the MLB and MLBPA’s joint policies on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse,” the White Sox said in a statement. “MLB launched an investigation after learning of these allegations. The White Sox were unaware of the allegations or the investigation at the time of his signing. The White Sox will not comment until MLB’s investigation process is complete.”
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.