Significant report on the Milwaukee Brewers’ plan for the offseason, as they are apparently getting ready to take a big risk with a potentially really big payoff.
And they don’t even have to go outside of the organization to do it:
The Brewers are looking to extend top prospect Jackson Chourio on a long-term deal that would not only ensure that he breaks camp with the big league team, pretty much straight from Double-A at age 20 (he got a six-game cup of coffee at Triple-A to end his age-19 season), but also would ensure they’d have him for much longer than the standard six years of team control.
From Rosenthal, who describes the potential deal as “landmark”:
“The six-year, $50 million contract that outfielder Luis Robert signed with the White Sox in Jan. 2020 currently is the largest (pre-debut) 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.”
Chourio’s numbers at Double-A might not look all that impressive on their face (.280/.336/.467/112 wRC+), but you have to keep in mind that he was just 19, he’s a great defensive center fielder, and his numbers exploded in the second half. He’s a stud. No way around that reality. There’s a reason he’s roundly considered one of the top three or so prospects in the game.
The Brewers already had Chourio, functionally, for just shy of seven seasons of control. But by risking a guarantee of, what, $75 million or so(?), they can probably extend that window of control for several more years (including with options at the end). If Chourio completely busts, that’s not an insignificant dollar amount to be wrong about, but it’s also not a disaster. The upside is that if he’s a superstar, instead of paying him $40 million through his arbitration years and then having to give him a $300 million contract for many more years than you actually want, you get him through his prime for something more like $100 million total. It’s a risk. It’s a bet. But it’s a smart one if a player is willing.
Stay tuned on this one, as it would impact the Brewers long-term, but also their offseason.