The investigation stems from allegations made by a woman, Olivia Finestead, who accused Clevinger of physical and emotional abuse toward his three children and their two mothers, herself included. She agreed to be named in an interview with The Athletic.
Finestead has been in touch with MLB investigators since last summer, when Clevinger was a member of the San Diego Padres, according to The Athletic, but mentioned her accusations in a series of stories on her Instagram account Tuesday. In them, she accused Clevinger of “several acts of domestic violence and child abuse,” including throwing “chew spit on a screaming infant child” and strangling her. The latter accusation was posted with a series of photos that alleged to be the result of violent acts committed by Clevinger, a 32-year-old who has been in the major leagues for seven years.
An attorney for Clevinger released a statement Tuesday on behalf of his client that read: “Mike emphatically denies the accusations made by Ms. Finestead.”
“He has never harmed Ms. Finestead or his daughter,” attorney Jay 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.”
In a statement, the Padres said, “We are aware of MLB’s investigation and completely support their efforts under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy. Due to the ongoing investigative process, we cannot comment any further at this time.”
The White Sox signed Clevinger to a one-year, $12 million free agent contract near the end of November — a deal that would pay him a base salary of $8 million in 2023 and included a $12 million mutual option, with a $4 million buyout, for 2024 — and claimed they did not know about the allegations upon signing him.
“Major League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox take any and all allegations very seriously, and the White Sox are completely supportive of the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy shared by MLB and the MLBPA,” the White Sox said in a statement. “MLB opened an investigation after learning of these allegations. 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.”
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.