Andrew Friedman on Ryan Lavarnway and multi-position threats.

After day one of the Winter Meetings, the Dodgers’ last transaction remains the non-blockbuster Ryan Lavarnway signing.

Lavarnway came up as a catcher but bounced around last season. All of his 24 major-league innings last season came at first base. He’ll be bouncing again in 2015, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday: “He’ll catch some, play some at first, and right handed bat (off the bench).”

Friedman acknowledged the risk involved in the transaction. Lavarnway can’t be optioned to the minor leagues, just like Drew Butera, the man he replaced. The reward? “He at the very least adds some depth for us against left-handed pitchers,” Friedman said.

Maybe the what made Lavarnway most attractive is his defensive flexibility. Butera played parts of two games at first base in the minors and three in the majors. He also pitched three times. But for all intents and purposes, Drew Butera is a catcher.

Friedman prefers multi-position guys like Lavarnway.

“It helps Donnie quite a bit in-game,” Friedman said. “It allows you to effectively feel like you’re playing with more than a 25-man roster when you have that flexibility. It certainly helps. You have to have kind of a threshhold of caliber of player, but if that standard is met and that player can play multiple spots, it’s helpful.”

That helps explain the Dodgers’ reported interest in Yasmani Grandal, who played catcher and first base last season for the San Diego Padres.

It’s something to keep in mind as the front office deliberates this winter.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.