In an offseason filled with mostly bad news so far for the Brewers, there is finally some good news to get fans excited.
According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, the Milwaukee Brewers are deep in negotiations with top prospect Jackson Chourio on a historic contract extension. Chourio has yet to make his MLB debut, earning only a cup of coffee in Triple-A late this year, and a deal would make him one of just a few players to sign a long-term major league contract prior to his debut, and it could be a record breaker.
Luis Robert currently has the record for a contract signed by a player before making their MLB debut, with a 6 year, $50MM deal. Chourio would set a "new standard" over that deal, according to Rosenthal.
The Milwaukee Brewers are trying to extend Jackson Chourio and keep him in Milwaukee long-term and secure Chourio as the cornerstone of this franchise going forward.
Negotiations with Chourio, still just 19 years old, have been going on even before the offseason began, meaning the Brewers have been working on this for several months already. They recognize the talent that Chourio is and what he can be for the organization going into the future. A deal longer than six years would buyout free agent years, making this kind of a deal well worth it for both sides.
These negotiations come at a time where the rest of the Brewers roster is in flux as the current core is reaching free agency and a new, younger core is coming up and taking the roster spots. Chourio is going to be the centerpiece of that next core.
Because of Chourio's lack of Triple-A experience but high level prospect status, it would be somewhat of a question mark if the Brewers would put Chourio on the Opening Day roster in 2024. He's talented enough to make the team, but could they put him in Triple-A for a few weeks for more seasoning and an extra year of team control? With a contract extension, that question is no longer necessary and service time is not a concern.
A deal is not done yet, but it appears that negotiations are moving along well and a deal could come together quickly. It may take until later in the offseason, so nothing needs to happen in the next week or so, for example, but the two sides are making progress. Securing the future with Chourio can help dictate offseason plans and may make a trade of one of the outfielders who already made their debut a little more palatable.
Investing in Jackson Chourio early and securing him for the long-term can put the player, team, and fans at ease, not having to worry about the team trading a star player after just five years with the team because their arbitration price tag is getting too high and they're too close to free agency. Going through that with Josh Hader, Corbin Burnes, and the like has been exhausting and not fun for anybody involved. It appears the Brewers may end up avoiding that same outcome with Jackson Chourio and keep him in Milwaukee for a long time.