The St. Louis Cardinals were ordered to pay $2 million and forfeit two picks in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft for an illegal computer hacking of the Houston Astros’ database.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the punishment after the conclusion of a major league probe into 2013 and 2014 breaches of the Astros baseball operations files by a former Cardinals’ employee, scouting director Chris Correa.
The Cardinals will have their 56th and 75th overall draft selections, second and third round choices, awarded to the Astros, who will also receive the fine money within 30 days, according to the ruling.
Manfred said no evidence was found that anyone besides Correa was responsible for accessing the Astros’ information but said he was “holding the Cardinals responsible for his conduct.” Manfred ruled that the Astros had “suffered material harm” from the actions of Correa, who was fired by the Cardinals in 2015 after the team’s own internal investigation.
Correa was placed on the “permanently ineligible list” on Manfred’s order.
“We respect the commissioner’s decision and appreciate there’s now a final resolution to this matter,” Cardinals chairman William DeWitt Junior said in a statement.
“Commissioner Manfred’s findings are fully consistent with our own investigation’s conclusion that this activity was isolated to a single individual.”
Correa pleaded guilty in federal court last January to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer for intruding into the Astros’ email system and analytical scouting database after an FBI probe. He was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and ordered to pay the Astros $279,038.65 as restitution.—AFP