Adam LaRoche, 36, stunned everyone as he made an announcement of his retirement from the MLB and the Chicago White Sox, and in the process forfeiting $13 million left on his contract.
LaRoche gave the news much to the surprise and dismay of this Sox coaches and teammates; many of them urged him to reconsider the 12-year veteran.
“I’m confident I am stepping away from baseball,” LaRoche said. “My teammates have asked me for an hour (to reconsider). I’ve tried to convince them I am convinced, but I will do them that, and give it a day or two, and then come back in and finish the story.”
Previously, he signed a two-year contract with the Sox that would end after next season, and said out of respect for his team that he would consider their requests before further discussion of his intention in the next few days.
However, Sox general manager Rick Hahn believes that LaRoche is adamant on his decision to retire. The news surprised him, but he will respect LaRoche’s decision and understands the player’s angle.
All parties did not pry upon the circumstances that made LaRoche’s decision which LaRoche says that he would address with clarity soon.
LaRoche had played in just two spring training games this year before being sidelined with back spasms, but the injury showed signs of recovery. If he should retire, the Sox would be left without a designated hitter, a backup first baseman and a surplus of outfielders.
With a career that spans a little longer than a decade in MLB, the .260 hitter with 255 home runs and 882 RBIs had played with the Braves, Pirates, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and the Nationals.
Signing on under a free-agent contract with the Sox before the 2015 season, he experienced one of the more frustrating years of his career with the team. He hit .207 with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and 133 strikeouts.