Texas Rangers: 3 logical bridges to Josh Jung at third base
By Seth Carlson
The man pictured above? That’s Josh Jung, the Texas Rangers‘ elite third-base prospect and top organizational minor league talent.
That sounds great, until you realize he probably won’t begin the 2021 season with the big league club. Instead, he likely has a starting hot corner role waiting for him in Double-A Frisco.
Effectively, that leaves the Rangers without a quality solution at third base to begin the year.
Originally, the third base vacancy was going to be filled by the now-departed Elvis Andrus (we’re still sad about the trade, by the way).
Now, Texas will have to search for other stopgaps, at least until the burgeoning Jung is ready to debut.
Thanks to a slow-moving free agent market and major in-house depth at most of the infield positions, though, the Rangers won’t be without possibilities at third base.
Here are three easy scenarios that could bridge the gap to Josh Jung.
Texas Rangers third base options: Sign Jake Lamb
Jake Lamb is now four years removed from a breakout season with the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he hit 30 home runs and put up an .844 OPS over 149 games.
The year before that (2016), he hit 29 homers and had a nearly identical .840 OPS over 151 games.
This all sounds wonderful, except that Lamb has also dealt with consistent injury problems throughout his career.
In fact, injuries have been so detrimental to Lamb that those 2016 and 2017 campaigns remain, to this point, his best seasons as a major leaguer.
The 30-year-old has undeniable potential when healthy, though, and the Texas Rangers are merely looking for a player who can keep a seat warm for a few months in 2021.
Lamb spent 2020 as an injury replacement for the ultra-talented Matt Chapman in Oakland, so why couldn’t he perform a similar function for the Rangers in 2021?
The longtime Diamondback can be had on a cheap one-year deal with incentives, or perhaps even a minors deal. Those financial parameters would seem like no-brainers for a team with a budget such as the Rangers.
Lamb appears to be the ideal bridge to Josh Jung at third base.