MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins

Report: Adam LaRoche to Retire

Not your ordinary news from Spring Training. The White Sox had a meeting at Camelback Ranch this morning, during which Adam LaRoche informed his teammates of his intention to retire from baseball.

LaRoche had a rough first season in Chicago, providing a .233 TAv mainly from the designated hitter position, while also splitting time with Jose Abreu at first base. He has one year remaining on the two-year deal that brought him to the south side. What will become of that contract remains to be seen, as it’s also being reported that LaRoche is going to take some time to think about it before officially announcing. If he does indeed walk away, the White Sox could buy out a portion of his contract or they could find themselves with $13M more than they thought they had to put towards this season.

There will most definitely be some lament, not only for the personal issues that LaRoche is crediting with his decision, but for the timing of that decision. Had this been determined just a month or so sooner, the money saved, and the roster flexibility, could have been used to acquire one of the free agent targets that the Sox had been rumored to have been negotiating with, or even cheaper ones that wouldn’t have made sense with LaRoche present (e.g. Pedro Alvarez). Time still exists, however, to utilize this potential newfound financial freedom to acquire a bat via trade. The open spot on the 25-man roster, along with the ability to eat additional funds could clear space for a big name splash such as Matt Kemp or Carlos Gonzalez. Even short of something with that level of headline, the 2016 plan has been altered, and we’re likely to see a corresponding adjustment from the front office.

By most accounts, Adam LaRoche is a quality individual, a quality teammate, and will be missed in the clubhouse. One would assume that the back issue that has hounded him in the past and caused him to miss the last week of Spring Training games would be the main motivator, but his reluctance to outright say so, instead citing “personal issues” is troubling.  One cannot help but think of how bad things have gotten for LaRoche, either off the field or in terms of his health, for him to give up $13 million and the only career he’s ever known.

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5 comments on “Report: Adam LaRoche to Retire”

Manchershaw Engineer

This is good news for Avisail Garcia, as the DH spot is his for the taking.

Probably would have been nice to know this before releasing Mike Olt.

I agree this could potentially easy the flow of working Austin Jackson into the outfield and keeping Garcia’s time out there to a minimum. We can probably rest easy knowing that Mike Olt is not the solution.


I rather have Justin Morneau or Marlon Byrd than Kemp or Bruce to replace LaRoche. The reason is simple: the length of the contract. Morneau/Byrd can be here for a 1 year and provide help cheaply (Byrd provides power, and Morneau provides OBP).

Bruce and Kemp are nice to have this year, but then next year? yucky….no thanks

Byrd ended up providing non-zero value last year, but at his age I wouldn’t bet on him providing that much of an upgrade from the right side over what Avisail would provide. Morneau would be a decent get, but injury history is worrisome. That’s also the case with Kemp who, like you say, also has quite the commitment. Bruce is at least potentially a 2016-only guy (2017 $1M buyout)


Oh.. I thought Bruce contract had two years left. My bad. I still prefer Morneau (Despite injuries) or Byrd over Bruce though.

Bruce has been brutal in the last two years although WARP seems to like him better than fWAR or bWAR. Maybe he wouldn’t be that bad. Bruce splits aren’t gentle either so it’s not like he is better if used with Avi as a platoon compliment. I think Bruce is toasted.

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