LaRoche had served as a part-time third baseman and utility infielder for the A's, earning starts at all four infield positions in the season's first two months. He appeared in 40 games for the team, batting .247/.320/.333 in 104 plate appearances. The 27-year-old ranked among Baseball America's top 20 minor league prospects before both the 2006 and 2007 seasons, but has struggled in the bigs, posting a .642 career OPS across parts of five seasons.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes (via Twitter) that the decision to designate LaRoche was made in part because infielder Adam Rosales is so close to returning from his right foot injury. LaRoche tells Slusser (Twitter link) that he hopes another team will have interest in him for a major league role.