Cubs could take a page from Brewers' book with the Jackson Chourio extension

A long-term extension for one of the team's top prospects - even if he's yet to make his MLB debut - could help the team gain long-term cost control.

Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

During the Cubs' last competitive window, the constant knock on the front office was its seeming inability to extend anyone from the core, with the exception of Kyle Hendricks. Much to the dismay of fans at the time (and even some today), no deals came to fruition with Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez or Kris Bryant.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and it looks like the front office sticking to its guns on that front is looking like more of a blessing than ever. But with the report the division rival Milwaukee Brewers are on the cusp of extending top prospect Jackson Chourios, it's worth wondering if Jed Hoyer would ever take a similar approach with an untested young talent.

Cost-certainty could be gained by the Cubs on top prospects, but there are no sure things - and Jed Hoyer knows that

Even Pete Crow-Armstrong, Chicago's top prospect, pales in comparison to Chourios - a consensus top 10 prospect in the game today. Knowing that, it's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison because there's no one in the system, at least as things currently stand, that would demand the same eight-year, $80 million guarantee Chourios is nearing.

Still, the cost certainty that could be gained long-term has to be appealing to Hoyer, whose team is rumored to be in on Shohei Ohtani, the man likely to set a record for largest free agent deal in MLB history this winter. But who could be a potential target for such a deal?

Crow-Armstrong is an obvious name that comes to mind, but I think at this point, the Cubs will want to see more proof the bat is going to play consistently at the big league level. That's obviously the case with any prospect, but that has always been the question with the former first-rounder.

While these types of deals are incredibly rare (Chourios would join White Sox outfielder Luis Robert Jr. and Mariners infielder Evan White on the exclusive list of prospects receiving a long-term guarantee in recent years) - it's worth wondering if the Cubs would kick the tires on someone like Cade Horton or Matt Shaw, two of the biggest risers in the system this summer.

Again, I don't think Chicago has a plan of getting in on this sort of move anytime soon. There's no indication to suggest otherwise - and, while Robert Jr. has thrived in the Windy City, White has battled extensive injuries and has looked like a sunk cost since signing his deal.