The White Sox have made their first official signing of the offseason.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the team and right-handed starting pitcher Mike Clevinger have agreed to a deal pending a physical. The deal is said to be worth one year, $12 million guaranteed based on a new report by Jim Bowden.
Clevinger, who turns 32 next month, was one of several names mentioned as part of our list of 10 starting pitchers that the White Sox should consider this offseason. He was traded to the San Diego Padres back in 2020 in a move that sent pitcher Cal Quantrill, catcher Austin Hedges, shortstop Gabriel Arias, utility infielder Owen Miller, outfielder Josh Naylor, and left-handed pitcher Joey Cantillo to Cleveland.
After serving as one of the three aces of the Cleveland Guardians staff a few years back, it’s been far from smooth sailing for Clevinger since then. After missing all of 2021 and part of 2020 due to Tommy John Surgery, Clevinger came back this season with a few miles per hour off his fastball and some pretty poor results as a whole. He failed to get the same swing-and-miss stuff on any of his stuff, and after posting a career-high strikeout rate of 33.9% in 2019, his 18.8% strikeout rate in 2022 leaves a lot to be desired.
Taking a bet on Clevinger is absolutely buying low at this point, and there is no guarantee he really returns to form. However, given Ethan Katz’s track record, as well as Clevinger’s own track record of …
- A 2018 season with 200 IP
- A 2.96 ERA in 489.1 innings from 2017-2020 before his injury
- A 28% strikeout rate and a 9.0% walk rate from 2017-2020 before his injury
… the White Sox feel comfortable enough to give Clevinger a sort of “prove it” deal.
With this move, the White Sox appear to have solidified their 2023 rotation which already features Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, and Michael Kopech. Clevinger will look to fill the shoes of Johnny Cueto, who proved to be one of the bright spots in 2022 after signing a minor league deal. By taking over that fifth starter role, the pressure on Clevinger will be relatively low as he looks to re-establish himself and stabilize the back-end.
As more specifics become available, we will continue to provide updates. Be sure to follow along on social media @SoxOn35th for complete coverage.
Featured Photo: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Totally Agree Sox didn’t get much with this signing. Should have kept Cueto.
Clevinger is damaged goods. He’s has two TJ surgeries and is a shell of his former self. This is a total garbage pick signing by the Sox.