Chourio Gets $82 Million, 8-Year Deal With Brewers, Largest Before A Player's Big League Debut

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio responds to questions following a news conference at the Major League Baseball winter meetings Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. Chourio agreed to the largest contract for a player with no major league experience, an $82 million, eight-year deal with the Brewers. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio responds to questions following a news conference at the Major League Baseball winter meetings Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. Chourio agreed to the largest contract for a player with no major league experience, an $82 million, eight-year deal with the Brewers. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Before taking a single swing in the major leagues, Jackson Chourio landed the type of contract players spend years dreaming about.

“I’m definitely going to meet the expectations,” the 19-year-old outfielder said Monday after the Milwaukee Brewers finalized an $82 million, eight-year deal, the most money guaranteed to a player with no big league experience.

“There’s definitely a little bit of pressure on this, but I’m just going to work really hard,” Chourio said through a translator. “This money is not going to change me. If something changes, it definitely will be for the better.”

Chourio's agreement could be worth $130 million over 10 seasons. He gets a $2 million signing bonus and salaries of $2 million in 2024, $4 million in 2025, $7 million in 2026, $8 million in 2027, $9 million in 2028, $15 million in 2029, $16 million in 2030 and $17 million in 2031. Milwaukee has $25 million options for 2031 and '32, each with a $2 million buyout. He has escalators for the final three years based on MVP voting.

Milwaukee also agreed to an $8.5 million, one-year contract to retain left-hander Wade Miley, a deal that includes a 2025 mutual option and could be worth $24 million over two seasons. Miley gets a $7 million salary this year and the option is for $12 million with a $1.5 million buyout. He can earn $2.5 million each year in performance bonuses for innings: $250,000 each for 50 and 75, $500,000 for 100 and $750,000 for 125. He has a 10-team limited no-trade provision and would get a one-time $1 million assignment bonus if traded.

Chourio has played only six games above Double-A. His agreement topped the previous high for a player with no big league experience — excluding Japanese professionals — set when outfielder Luis Robert Jr. signed a $50 million, six-year contract with the Chicago White Sox on Jan. 2, 2020, ahead of his debut on July 24 of that year.

Chourio could start the 2024 season in the major leagues. The deal covers his entire period of arbitration eligibility and what potentially would have been his first two seasons after free agency.

“It’s not just about us. It’s about him as well and securing his future, partnering together with somebody that is really special,” Brewers general manager Matt Arnold said. “And so when you have an agreement like that, it’s a great day for everybody involved.”

Milwaukee is starting its first season under manager Pat Murphy following the departure of Craig Counsell, who left to manage the Chicago Cubs. Murphy noticed Chourio wore a No. 11 jersey at his news conference.

“I told him today, you’re No. 94 to me,” the manager said. “He’s always worn No. 94 in the thing. You want that No. 11, you've got to earn it. I’ll hang that No. 11 in my office and he can look at it every day if he wants, but he’s going to wear 94 until he earns that.”

Chourio is regarded among baseball's top prospects. Although he doesn’t turn 20 until March 11, he has advanced rapidly enough in the Brewers’ farm system that he played six games for Triple-A Nashville late this past season.

He’s the first player in Brewers history to be selected as the organization’s minor league player of the year twice. Chourio, from Maracaibo, Venezuela, signed for a $1.8 million bonus at age 16 in January 2021.

He batted .283 with a .338 on-base percentage, 22 homers, 91 RBIs and 44 steals in 128 combined games with Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville in 2023. He hit .288 with a .342 on-base percentage, 20 homers, 75 RBIs and 16 steals in 99 combined games with Class A Carolina and Wisconsin, and Biloxi in 2022.

His 18-year-old brother Jaison signed with Cleveland for a $1.2 million bonus in January 2022 and hit .321 with one homer, 25 RBIs and 20 stolen bases with the Arizona Complex League Guardians and Class A Lynchburg.

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