The Brewers have signed top prospect Jackson Chourio to an eight-year contract extension, according to multiple reports.
Jeff Passan confirmed on Sunday that Chourio and the Brewers reached an agreement on a deal worth at least $82 million with two club options and incentives that could push his earnings up to $142.5 million over 10 years.
Adam McCalvy reported on Friday that Chourio’s deal will contain a base salary of $82 million with incentives that could push it up to $140 million if both options are exercised. McCalvy added that Chourio made it to Milwaukee on Friday to take a physical.
The deal buys out all six of Chourio’s initial years of club control and two to four seasons of free agency, depending on whether the Brewers exercise the options.
It’s a new record deal for a minor-league player who has yet to reach the major leagues.
Chourio, 19, is Milwaukee’s No. 1 prospect. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 2 prospect in the sport.
The outfielder has rapidly ascended the minor-league ladder over the past two seasons. He spent most of 2023 in Double-A Biloxi, slashing .280/.336/.467 (112 wRC+). The Brewers promoted him to Triple-A after the Double-A season ended, and Chourio hit .333/.375/.476 (111 wRC+) in six games with the Nashville Sounds as a teenager.
Chourio projected to start 2024 on the doorstep of the big leagues, and the extension potentially paves the way for an Opening Day roster spot by eliminating service time concerns.
It also exacerbates Milwaukee’s outfield logjam. Christian Yelich remains under contract through 2028 and is unlikely to move from left field anytime soon. Sal Frelick, Joey Wiemer, and Garrett Mitchell are all recently-graduated prospects. Veteran Tyrone Taylor and post-hype prospects Blake Perkins and Chris Roller are also on the 40-man roster.
Assuming Chourio takes over as the starting center fielder at some point in 2024, that leaves six players for regular playing time in right field, the fourth outfielder role and a “shuttle” bench role in which a fifth outfielder could be promoted from Triple-A as needed.
The Brewers have assembled rosters in the past with apparent playing time conflicts, and injuries and performance provided organic solutions. However, it’s difficult to imagine they retain all of their outfield options through Opening Day. Any of Frelick, Wiemer, Mitchell, or Perkins could become pieces in a trade to upgrade other positions. Milwaukee could use more help in its starting rotation and infield.