Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Front Office Feels Mookie Betts’ Ability to Play Shortstop Opens All Options at Trade Deadline

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked to a potential shortstop trade ever since Gavin Lux went down with a torn ACL early in spring training.

Tim Anderson of the White Sox, Willy Adames of the Brewers and Gleyber Torres of the Yankees have been the most talked about candidates, but pretty much every shortstop trade target will likely be linked to the Dodgers before the trade deadline.

The Dodgers have a clear need at shortstop, as both Chris Taylor and Miguel Rojas have struggled this season (although they’ve been better as of late). However, they’ve somewhat found an internal fill in the form of six-time Gold Glove Award winner in right field, Mookie Betts.

Betts has thrived at the shortstop position this season, both with his bat and with his glove. He seems more engaged when he’s playing there, and has given the team a huge boost in the lineup on the days he mans the shortstop spot.

Betts’ ability to play shortstop has somewhat altered the Dodgers’ trade deadline plans, as they may not need to add a shortstop come the trade deadline. Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman recently talked to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register about the flexibility Betts has added in their potential trade plans.

“I think it provides a lot of flexibility, both to start a game and in-game, that has a lot of value,” Friedman said. “What exactly that means in terms of how often, I think we’ll just keep assessing as we go. But let’s say we get to a point where, in July, we feel like we need to add a bat, it opens up the realm of options of what we can target, if we feel like he can do it well. We’ll continue to assess all of that.”

Friedman is pretty much saying that the Dodgers won’t be married to adding a shortstop if they feel like they can get a better bat somewhere else. That is definitely not where they expected to be earlier in the year before Betts started playing that position.

“If you would have told me over the winter that Mookie would play short as well as he has, I would have been surprised, to be honest,” Friedman said. “But I guess it’s example 612 not to be surprised by anything that Mookie does.”

For now, the Dodgers will continue to move Betts all around the diamond, playing right field, shortstop and second base. They’ll continue to use him in the infield to get three lefty bats in the outfield when a righty is on the mound, which has seemed to be the optimal lineup this season.

And while Friedman’s comments don’t shut the door on a potential trade this year for a shortstop, they at least make it known that the Dodgers won’t be desperate come the end of July. If the Dodgers need to utilize Betts at shortstop more to get an even better impact bat this deadline, they won’t hesitate to do it.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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