The Chicago White Sox opened the winter meetings by closing their deal with starting pitcher Mike Clevinger.
The right-hander came to terms on a one-year, $12-million contract, the Sox announced Sunday. Clevinger will receive $8 million in 2023, with a mutual $12-million option for 2024 that includes a $4-million buyout.
He will wear No. 52.
Clevinger returns to the American League Central, where he spent four-plus seasons with Cleveland from 2016-20. He was traded to the San Diego Padres in August 2020, missed all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery and went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 2022.
Reports of the deal surfaced Nov. 27.
Clevinger, 31, replaces free agent Johnny Cueto in a rotation that includes Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn and Michael Kopech.
Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA and 694 strikeouts in 128 career outings (114 starts) with Cleveland and the Padres. He won 13 games in both 2018 and ‘19. He had 207 strikeouts and a 3.02 ERA in 2018 and a 2.71 ERA in 2019.
Clevinger had a combined 3.02 ERA in eight starts for Cleveland and San Diego (four for both teams) in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He also was disciplined by Cleveland and later apologized after breaking COVID-19 protocols with teammate Zach Plesac during a trip to Chicago.
Clevinger was sent to the Padres in a big trade that saw Josh Naylor and Cal Quantrill, among others, head to Cleveland. He underwent Tommy John surgery in November 2020 — his second following a 2012 procedure while in the minor leagues.
Clevinger returned in 2022, making 23 appearances (22 starts) in the regular season. He started two playoff games, allowing five runs (four earned) in 2 ⅔ innings and taking the loss in Game 1 of an NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and giving up three runs on three hits without recording an out in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies.