White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes stepping away from baseball 'for a while … it's over'


(670 The Score) It appears White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes is headed for retirement.

Mercedes, 28, posted to Instagram on Wednesday evening that he’s stepping away from baseball “for a while” while also indicating his career could be completely done.

“I walked away from baseball for a while, God bless you, it’s over,” the post read in part.

Earlier Wednesday, Mercedes had posted the message "El Retiro" with the thinking face emoji to Instagram as well.

The White Sox optioned Mercedes to Triple-A Charlotte in early July after prolonged struggles at the big league level. That rut from Mercedes came after a scorching hot start, as he hit .415 with a 1.113 OPS in April, when he was named the American League Rookie of the Month. He mostly filled the designated hitter role for the team.

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Mercedes has been playing well at Triple-A, hitting .298 with a .997 OPS in 15 games. For the White Sox this season, Mercedes hit .270 with seven homers, 37 RBIs and a .729 OPS.

Mercedes had a long journey to the big leagues, signing as an international free agent with the Nationals in 2011. He later spent time in an independent league and in the Orioles organization before having his breakout with the White Sox early on in 2021.

Mercedes landed in the national baseball headlines back in May after a run-in with manager Tony La Russa. In the ninth inning of a blowout win against the Twins, Mercedes homered on a 3-0 pitch off a position player who was on the mound. His blast came after La Russa had given Mercedes the take sign. That upset La Russa, who called it "unacceptable" and unsportsmanlike.

For his part, Mercedes remained his outgoing, fun-loving self.

"I'm going to play like that," Mercedes said at the time. "I'm Yermin. I can't be another person because if I change it, everything is going to change.

"We're just having fun. It's baseball."

Not long after Mercedes made his post, the White Sox revealed in a statement they hadn't been officially informed of his decision to step away, nor could the team confirm retirement speculation.

"The White Sox are aware of tonight’s Instagram post by Yermín Mercedes, who is currently on the active roster of our Class AAA team in Charlotte, NC," the statement said, according to MLB.com. "At this point in time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermín concerning his future plans."