Image credit: Jackson Chourio (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
The Brewers are reportedly close on an extension with 19-year-old outfielder Jackson Chourio. If finalized, the deal would mark the largest extension ever for a player yet to make his major league debut.
Chourio, who turns 20 in March, is one of baseball’s top prospects. He is expected to sign an eight-year deal close to $80 million guaranteed, according to Jon Heyman. The club has not officially announced the deal. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the two sides were close on an extension.
Chourio has just six at-bats in Triple-A. He spent the majority of the 2023 season with Double-A Biloxi, hitting .280/.336/.467 with 22 homers and 43 steals despite struggling in the first half of the season while MLB experimented with pre-tacked baseballs in the Southern League.
Chourio was named Baseball America’s Brewers Minor League Player of the Year and became just the fourth teenager since 1963 to hit at least 20 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season, joining Ronald Acuña Jr., Andruw Jones and Alex Escobar.
White Sox outfielder Luis Robert Jr. currently holds the record for the largest contract for a player yet to make his big league debut. He signed a six-year, $50 million deal in 2020.
Chourio’s reported extension would easily surpass that deal. Evan White ($24 million), Scott Kingery ($24 million) and Jon Singleton ($10 million) are other recent examples, though none ranked as highly as prospects as Chourio.
See the top players in Milwaukee’s system, headlined by a new report for Chourio.
Milwaukee’s decision, while unprecedented, furthers a growing trend around baseball of teams locking rising stars into long-term deals early in their career. Acuña is one prominent example. He signed a $100 million deal just days into his second major league season.
Others have followed suit. As a rookie in 2022, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez signed a 12-year, $209 million extension. D-backs rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll signed an eight-year, $111 million deal this spring after playing just 32 big league games.
Chourio has all-star potential as well. Baseball America wrote in its 2024 preseason scouting report that he has a chance to become a franchise cornerstone in Milwaukee with 30-homer, 30-steal potential. Agreeing to a big league deal opens the door for Chourio to arrive in Milwaukee at some point in 2024, more than likely on Opening Day.