Around the AL Central: Mike Clevinger is signing with the White Sox
The rumor mill has been pretty quiet for the Cleveland Guardians to start the offseason, so let's take a look at the AL Central.
While the Twins are still active in their pursuit to sign shortstop Carlos Correa to a multi-year deal, the Chicago White Sox are looking to bolster their pitching staff with a familiar foe. Over the weekend, the White Sox and Mike Clevinger agreed on a one-year deal, which will see Clevinger make more than $8 million.
This marks the end of Clevinger's time with the San Diego Padres, which can't be described as anything other than a huge disappointment. He was the centerpiece of the nine-player trade between the Padres and Cleveland in 2020, and was expected to anchor the San Diego rotation for years to come. But injuries derailed the entirety of his time there, which included a Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss the entirety of the 2021 season.
Thanks to a sprained knee and a triceps strain, Clevinger was only able to make 22 starts (23 appearances) this past season as well. He finished with a 4.33 ERA and 86 ERA+, striking out 91 batters in 114 1/3 innings. At this point, it's been a while since Clevinger has been the type of pitcher that once made him one of the best in the American League. From 2017 to 2019 with the then-Indians, Clevinger maintained a tremendous 2.96 ERA and a 152 ERA+ with 513 strikeouts in 447 2/3 innings.
So now Clevinger has officially become a reclamation project, with the White Sox being the team willing to take a flyer on him. And with a projected staff that includes Clevinger, Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech, the White Sox - at least on paper - will certainly project to have one of the best rotations in the division, if not the entire American League.
Now they'll just need to figure out an offense that just lost stalwart José Abreu to the Houston Astros.