Mon Dec 4 1:36pm ET
Field Level Media
The Milwaukee Brewers announced a record-breaking eight-year, $82 million contract on Monday with Jackson Chourio, a 19-year-old outfielder who has yet to make his major league debut.
The numbers could reach more than $140 million when club options for 2032 and 2033 are factored in.
No player has signed a bigger deal before playing in the majors. Prior to Chourio's extension, Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert held the record with a six-year, $50 million deal signed in 2020.
"We are extremely excited to make this unprecedented commitment to a player we believe will be a generational talent who has all the tools to be the face of our franchise," Milwaukee general manager Matt Arnold said Monday.
Chourio, from Venezuela, has been in the Brewers organization since 2021. The center fielder is the No. 2 prospect in baseball, per MLB.com.
Through an interpreter at a press conference Monday, Chourio expressed gratitude for the opportunity to play in the majors.
"He will treat this with respect, and he's definitely going to meet the expectations and enjoy the game and taking it with respect," his interpreter said.
"Yeah, there's definitely a little bit of pressure on this but he's just going to work really hard, take the best of him on the field. He understands that this money's not going to change him, and if something changes, it definitely will be for better."
Arnold said Monday it was a long road to get to the end of this historic deal.
"It's taken a lot of time, honestly and a lot of people involved," Arnold said. "... It took months, and it took a lot of work and it took a lot of give and take from everybody involved. So that's why we're here today. It's an exciting partnership. When you're able to everybody come to a spot where everyone's in agreement -- it's a really exciting day for us."
When asked about what he's doing to prepare to debut in the majors, Chourio said through his interpreter, "Right now in the offseason we are working really hard to be there and be opening day. ... Work harder. Work double. Work on my body. On all the details that can make me a better player."
His agent, Cesar Suarez, echoed sentiments from others in the organization who noted that despite his young age, Chourio has consistently succeeded at whatever is put in front of him.
"Every challenge that we presented to him, he always excelled and that's something that I think he's going to continue to do obviously at the hardest level of baseball," Suarez said Monday. "I feel that he's going to be able to manage it because every time that we put a challenge to him, he always excelled. It's something that I've seen since he was, you know, 12 years old, so I don't think that's going to change. I'm pretty fortunate to see him doing this and I think he's going to continue to do it."
Chourio spent the bulk of the 2023 season at Double-A Biloxi, where he hit .280 with 22 home runs, 89 RBIs and 43 stolen bases in 122 games.
If the Brewers exercise both options, Chourio would not be eligible for free agency until age 29.
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