Mookie Betts ‘permanent’ position switch proves Dodgers have given up on trade target

Mookie Betts moving positions once again proves that a Willy Adames trade is not in the cards.

Feb 24, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Mookie Betts against the Los
Feb 24, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Mookie Betts against the Los / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers made headlines this offseason when they had Mookie Betts, a six-time Gold Glove winner in right field, make the transition full-time to the infield. Betts was expected to take over as their everyday second baseman.

Betts saw 70 games of action last season at the keystone for the Dodgers, his most in an MLB season by far. He, of course, was terrific at the position, recording 6 DRS at second base according to FanGraphs.

It turns out, the big switch didn't even get through Spring Training. No, Betts is not moving back out to right field, instead, he's making yet another switch. This time, Betts is moving over from second base to shortstop in a move even more surprising than the initial switch.

The Dodgers' presumed shortstop entering the year was Gavin Lux, but his defensive struggles have led the Dodgers to bail from that plan with their first game just 12 days away. Betts is starting at shortstop in Friday's game and with what Dave Roberts is saying, that move seems permanent.

Dodgers can be ruled out of Willy Adames sweepstakes with Mookie Betts 'permanent' position switch

The Dodgers having what sounds like a permanent solution at shortstop likely means that a player who has been linked to them on several occasions, Willy Adames, no longer makes sense.

Adames is entering his final year of team control before reaching free agency after the 2024 campaign. He made a lot of sense for the Dodgers considering the Brewers will likely be trading him at the trade deadline barring a surprisingly good first half to their season, and wouldn't cost too much because he'd just be an expiring contract.

While Mookie is relatively inexperienced at the shortstop position in his MLB career, there's little reason to doubt his defensive abilities with the kind of athlete he is. He played 16 games there last season and figures to see many more this season.

Perhaps if Betts struggles at shortstop and the Dodgers don't have a long-term plan there, they can pursue Adames at the deadline or next offseason. Before Opening Day though? Don't count on it.