Earlier this offseason, there were rumors that the Dodgers might pursue Aaron Judge and, if they were successful in signing him, move Mookie Betts to second base. This never made a ton of sense simply because Betts is a six-time Gold Glove winner in right field and Judge could easily play left field instead, where Los Angeles actually has somewhat of an opening.
L.A. is unlikely to sign Judge anyway, as it looks like it will be either the Yankees or the Giants who get him. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts discussed the possibility of Betts at second base on the Starkville Podcast on Thursday.
“If he had his choice, yes. He loves second base. So, we’ll see. I think the main thing is that his openness and willingness that, obviously, you’re talking about a big right-handed right fielder [Judge] that is a free agent that could play right field which would make that move make sense. So, again, we’re keeping all options open.”
Roberts was asked if Mookie’s willingness to play second base affects how L.A. approaches free agency.
“It’s so powerful when the player owns it, wants it. And for Mookie in this particular case, he just feels that, he doesn’t want to DH, he doesn’t want off days. So if he can play second base, that’s a break for his body, his mind. It keeps it fun and interesting. And he’s a very good ballplayer, and he can play there. So, to have that, it’s a huge benefit. And we have that same thing with Max Muncy, who we can slide to second, to third, give him a DH day. But having Mookie, in particular, to go from the grass to the dirt, opens up a lot of things.”
It’s pretty clear to hear Doc talk that he’s not thinking about Betts as a full-time second baseman. Putting him there occasionally for a partial day off, sure. But whether Los Angeles signs Judge or not, Betts will be their everyday right-fielder. Nothing else makes sense.
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