The Los Angeles Dodgers are committing to testing out the defensive versatility of seven-time All-Star Mookie Betts in 2024.

During Major League Baseball’s winter meetings, it was revealed that Betts would transition from Los Angeles’ starting right fielder, to its starting second baseman. That confirmed ongoing talks from the Dodgers that had previously hinted at the idea that Betts would, at least, see extended playing time in the infield to open the door for prospect Miguel Vargas to move to the outfield.

“This is something that Mookie was on board with as well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained Monday at winter meetings, per MLB Network Radio. “And I think that when he runs out to right field every day, and as you know, he starts to get a little bit older, he’s starting to look and see that we need to play him less when he plays right field. And so when he played second base a lot last year, he was able to be in the lineup.”

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The move doesn’t place Betts in unfamiliar territory at all. When on the rise through Boston’s farm system as a Red Sox prospect, Betts originally began as an infielder. That’s what he was when drafted by Boston in 2011, going on to make 230 minor league appearances at second base.

However, with ex-Red Sox Dustin Pedroia still the established go-to second baseman at the time of Betts’ big league arrival in 2014, Boston moved him to the outfield. There, Betts established himself and grew into a six-time Gold Glove outfielder — one of the best in MLB.

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It also speaks to the value of Betts in giving the Dodgers a luxury that not many players can across MLB.

“So two things: To get Mookie to be in the lineup more,” Roberts added. “And also I think it just creates more opportunities for us to build a roster that’s more flexible.”

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Betts recorded a 99.1 fielding percentage in 70 games played at second base with Los Angeles last season, proving to be just as reliable as when the Dodgers lean on the 31-year-old to patrol the outfield.

Featured image via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images