The Milwaukee Brewers have lost former manager Craig Counsell to the Chicago Cubs. They are currently withstanding external pressure to trade their best pitcher, Corbin Burnes, and arguably their most dynamic infielder, Willy Adames. In addition, there are facing a great deal of negative feelings from fans who are not happy about the prospect of a possible rebuild.
It does not seem, though, that the Brewers plan on rebuilding at all. Despite the loss of the winningest manager in franchise history, more and more reports are stating that Milwaukee is very hesitant to trade either Burnes or Adames as they plan on making another run at the postseason in 2024. One development that has just now come to light that supports this outlook is what the Brewers are trying to do with Jackson Chourio.
The Milwaukee Brewers Are Trying to Sign Jackson Chourio to a Record-Breaking Contract Extension
Over the past few years, a number of teams have offered their top prospects long extensions worth tens of millions of dollars instead of allowing them to play of minimum wage and then whatever they would make in arbitration. This ensures that the young player remains with the team through their usual years of club control plus a few extra, while keeping their cost reasonable for the club.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is well-known around baseball to be notoriously cost-aware. In other words, he will not spend a lot of money very often. There have been times, though, when he has opened his wallet and spent big money.
Two recent examples are Christian Yelich’s contract and the one-year deal the Brewers gave to Yasmani Grandal in 2019. Both moves are way out of the norm for Milwaukee in terms of spending, and it sounds like they are trying to pull off another rare big-money move.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Brewers and the agents for star prospect Jackson Chourio have been in discussions for months on a long-term contract extension that would tie baseball’s number two overall minor leaguer to Milwaukee for the next decade:
“The Milwaukee Brewers are talking with top outfield prospect Jackson Chourio about a landmark contract that could influence the direction of their offseason and the makeup of their 2024 roster.
“The six-year, $50 million contract that outfielder Luis Robert signed with the White Sox in Jan. 2020 currently is the largest such agreement. Chourio’s deal, which would be the culmination of months of on-and-off discussions, would be longer and guarantee him more money, sources said.”
Rosenthal also writes that if Milwaukee and Chourio agree to a deal, it would open the door for him to begin the 2024 season on their Opening Day roster.
Why a Jackson Chourio Extension Makes Sense for the Milwaukee Brewers?
With the talks of both Adames and Burnes being too expensive for the Brewers to sign ahead of their free agencies, one may wonder why Milwaukee is spending this kind of money now.
The answer is quite simple really: long-term savings.
By buying out all of Chourio’s arbitration years plus his first few years of free agency, Milwaukee will likely save more money in the long-run than having to pay him what an independent arbitrator might say they should. Additionally, it allows them the financial security of knowing that they have and how they can best build around him.
According to Curt Hogg, the Brewers also tried to do this kind of deal with other prospects who made their debuts this season, but were unable to come to any kind of agreement:
These sorts of deals have happened elsewhere but not in Milwaukee. Though the Brewers have made offers/discussions with other top prospects from this current crop of young players prior to their debuts. https://t.co/JiNDU7bt1D
— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) November 28, 2023
While he does not name the prospects, it is noteworthy that several of the Brewers’ top prospects made their Major League debuts this past season: Joey Wiemer, Sal Frelick, and Brice Turang. Garrett Mitchell, who made his Major League debut at the end of the 2022 season, made the Opening Day roster in 2023.
The Milwaukee Brewers Would Have Some Interesting Decisions to Make if Jackson Chourio Is Extended
If Chourio agrees to an extension, that would mean he most certainly would make the Opening Day roster despite playing just a few games above the Double-A level. However, since his typical club-controlled seasons would be bought out, the Brewers would not have to worry about when his service time would start.
Milwaukee already has a stellar group of outfielders that inlcude:
- Christian Yelich
- Garrett Mitchell
- Joey Wiemer
- Sal Frelick
- Tyrone Taylor
Add Chourio to that mix and one has an outfield that is incredibly deep, but also very crowded. It would be possible that one of the other young players (likely Wiemer or Mitchell) would be traded for infield depth or pitching.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Jackson Chourio is a talented outfield prospect currently playing for the Milwaukee Brewers organization. As he advances through their minor league system, Chourio is generating buzz about his potential and anticipated debut in Major League Baseball.
Jackson Chourio was not drafted; instead, he was signed as an international free agent by the Milwaukee Brewers on January 15, 2021, with a $1.8 million signing bonus.
Jackson Chourio is recognized as a talented center fielder in baseball. Known for his impressive combination of power-hitting and swift base running, Chourio has established himself as a player with formidable abilities in both batting and fielding, characteristic of a skilled center fielder.