PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 11: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks across the field before Game Three of the Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 11, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.
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The Dodgers Are Having a Former MVP Switch Positions

The Los Angeles Dodgers have new plans for Mookie Betts, their former MVP and once-everyday right fielder.

On Monday, while at the 2023 MLB winter meetings in Nashville, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told MLB Network that, "It's pretty safe to say that Mookie Betts is going to be our everyday second baseman."

Although this decision might come as a surprise to those who weren't watching the Dodgers closely last season, Betts' permanent switch to second base from right field has been in the works for a while.

For one, Betts was a second baseman in the minor leagues before getting called up to the MLB, although he has primarily roamed the outfield throughout his 10-year big-league career. He also appeared in a career-high 70 times at second base in 2023, including starting there most games during the home stretch of the 2023 regular season — while still seeing occasional action in right field. 

Betts' switch seems like a silly decision on the surface, considering that he has won six Gold Gloves for his outstanding work in the outfield throughout his career. Yet, when one takes a closer look at the Dodgers' roster, the move begins to make more sense. 

The Dodgers recently re-signed Jason Heyward — a player with less versatility than Betts — who figures to be the Dodgers' starting right fielder. In addition to Heyward, Los Angeles also has outfielders James Outman, Chris Taylor and Jonny Deluca on their depth chart, who will all be contending for playing time in 2024. With so much outfield depth and a shortage of infielders, the Dodgers brass believes that moving Betts to second base is the best way to maximize their roster.

Making matters even easier for Los Angeles, Betts — who finished as the runner-up in NL MVP voting last season, after batting .307 with 39 home runs and 14 stolen bases — is excited about making the switch. Back in July, Betts told the Orange Country Register that, "I've never considered myself a right fielder. I just play right field. I've always considered myself a middle infielder."

There you have it. 

Now the question becomes whether Betts will be able to win his seventh Gold Glove as a second basemen. If he manages to do so, winning a Gold Glove at two completely different positions would be yet another impressive feat in a career already worthy of the Hall of Fame. 

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