Boston Red Sox Are a "Preferred Landing Spot" For Free Agent Pitcher

Sep 24, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Mike Clevinger (52)
Sep 24, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Mike Clevinger (52) / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have seemingly been connected to every starting pitcher on the free agent market, only to be rebuffed by everyone not named Lucas Giolito. Now, a free agent has reportedly openly expressed his desire to bring his talents to Boston, and it is one of Giolito's former teammates.

Red Sox Rumors: Mike Clevinger Wants to Pitch in Boston

Starter Mike Clevinger has "made it clear that Boston is one of his preferred landing spots". Clevinger is coming off a 9-9 season with a 3.77 ERA and 7.5 K's per nine across 131.1 innings of work. His performance improved over the course of the season, as he held opponents to a .244 batting average and .296 on-base percentage in the second half of the campaign.

Clevinger recently turned 33 years old and missed the 2021 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. For his career, Clevinger is 60-39 with a 3.45 ERA and 9.2 K/9. The Florida native helped form a formidable pitching rotation during his tenure with the Cleveland Guardians from 2016-2020, alongside the likes of prime Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, and Shane Bieber.

There has not been any indication thus far whether the feeling is mutual on the part of the Red Sox. Clevinger and new Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow also crossed paths in Cleveland during the 2017 season in which Breslow made seven appearances at the big league level.

Clevinger has been at the center of two notable off-field incidents in his MLB career. During the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Clevinger and teammate Zach Plesac were sent home by the team after violating safety protocols. Both players drew intense ire from teammates as a result of the incident, with one teammate even threatening to leave the team if Clevinger and Plesac returned. The situation was sensitive in the Cleveland clubhouse, as pitcher Carlos Carrasco had been recently diagnosed with leukemia.

In Jan. 2023, Clevinger was placed under investigation by MLB following allegations for domestic and child abuse. In March 2023, MLB announced that the investigation was concluded and that the league would not subject him to discipline.

Clevinger's contract is projected to be in the neighborhood of two years and $26 million.

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