White Sox

Hahn: Waiting out Clevinger's investigation is ‘only option'

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Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger's tenure with the Chicago White Sox is off to a rough start.

Before reaching spring training, it was reported Clevinger is under investigation by MLB for allegations of domestic violence and child abuse. 

Clevinger reported to Camelback Ranch for spring training and is actively participating with the team. The White Sox are awaiting the results of its investigation and subsequently the league's conclusion on Clevinger's status – whether or not that will include a punishment. 

"He is currently the subject of an investigation under the Major League Baseball and the Players Association joint policy," general manager Rick Hahn said in Arizona on Wednesday. "Under the terms of the collective bargaining policy, it is solely the discretion of the commissioner to discipline a player under investigation, after the conclusion of an investigation. 

"At this point, the White Sox' options are the same as they have been throughout this process since Mike joined us and that is to respect the process and the investigation and let it play out. That is the club's only option. Obviously, the confidentiality element of the investigation is essential to the success and the strength of the policy is one that we are going to continue to respect."

The White Sox indicated in January, when news dropped of Clevinger's investigation, they were unaware of the allegations at the time of his signing and became privy to the information when it was reported. 

Clevinger and the White Sox agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal in December, well before news of Clevinger's allegations reached the surface.

According to Hahn, the White Sox, unfortunately, had no way of knowing based on the confidentiality element of MLB's policy surrounding investigations. 

"The question about the level of due diligence that we do, I will say that the confidentiality element to this policy is essential in order to protect not just players," Hahn said. "But also those who feel aggrieved to give them the ability to come forward and express there is an issue that would allow for an investigation to take place. Part of that confidentiality is that other clubs don't know about it, and there was no way for us to be aware of this incident without someone being in violation of that policy and knowing it was, which again, is part of the strength of the policy."

As it pertains to Clevinger's situation, the White Sox have to wait until MLB concludes its investigation. Then it's up to the commissioner's office to hand down any punishment, if necessary.

For now, Clevinger's status as a player isn't affected. The White Sox have no control over the the investigation or punishments, both of which are in the hands of MLB.

Hahn indicated the White Sox have no jurisdiction on the matter, including placing Clevinger on administrative leave. 

The White Sox' longtime general manager said he was "disappointed" when finding out about Clevinger's allegations. Not because the White Sox could have done a "more aggressive" background check, but because the information was unable to reach them before the signing. 

Clevinger and his agent did not disclose the information of his investigation to the White Sox during negotiations. Clevinger told the media he didn't realize the investigation was still active. Hahn told the media that agents are not obligated to inform clubs of their players' ongoing investigations. 

When asked if he was frustrated Clevinger himself didn't inform Hahn about his ongoing investigation or the allegations against him, he said "I understand why he didn't."

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