LaRoche to 'step away' from baseball for personal issue

Peter G. Aiken / Reuters

Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Adam LaRoche has told the team he plans to "step away" from baseball.

"I've decided to step away from baseball," LaRoche said, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. "I'll have more in a day or two."

The 36-year-old reportedly reached his decision because of an undisclosed personal issue. LaRoche spoke with his teammates for nearly two hours this morning, and they apparently convinced him to think on his choice.

"I'm confident I am stepping away from baseball. ... My teammates have asked me for an hour (to reconsider)," LaRoche said. "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."

General manager Rick Hahn said that while the team will ultimately respect LaRoche's decision, they'll quickly get to work on finding his replacement.

"(We) won't leave any stone unturned if we need to go outside (the) organization to get better," Hahn said.

LaRoche, who's set to make $13 million this season, signed a two-year, $25-million contract with the White Sox last winter. His production dipped upon joining the South Siders, however, as he hit just .207/.293/.340 with only 12 home runs in 127 games last season.

Before joining the White Sox, LaRoche also spent time with the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Washington Nationals. The 12-year veteran's most successful years came in Washington, where he won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2012 and hit 82 homers over his four seasons in the nation's capital.

LaRoche to 'step away' from baseball for personal issue
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