(CBS) Infielder Tommy La Stella broke his silence Tuesday evening regarding his refusal to accept a minor league assignment from the Cubs, telling ESPN.com that he considered retirement last offseason and that he will only play for the Cubs.
A key left-handed bat off the bench for the Cubs, the 27-year-old La Stella was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on July 29 due to a roster crunch but instead returned home to New Jersey, where's he's been training and hitting but not getting game reps.
La Stella shed his perspective in this drama.
"There wasn't much more that went into it than 'this is where I want to be,'" La Stella told ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers. "It was as simple as that. It didn't feel right to me to go be somewhere else just to continue playing. That's not what my thoughts center around, being a ballplayer and making it happen anyway possible. We all have a right to dictate what we do to some extent.
"It had nothing to do with trying to leverage anything. It was just where I was in my life and my career. It was an obvious decision for me. There was no other consideration."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon and general manager Jed Hoyer have been made clear that La Stella will have to first get work in at Triple-A Iowa if he wants to rejoin the Cubs at some point. For now, it doesn't appear that's a possibility in La Stella's mind.
Neither is continuing his career elsewhere.
"I'm not going to go play for someone else," La Stella said, according to ESPN.com. "That's not something I have any interest in doing. I'm here for a reason. This is where I want to be ... I'm just waiting to hear back from the team and keeping up with all the workouts and training and hitting."
for more features.