On Monday of this week, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred ended his office’s investigation of the hacking scandal involving the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros.
The investigation determined that Houston suffered material harm, which could not be amenable to a precise quantification.
The commissioner then announced disciplinary actions against the Cardinals including a fine of $2 million along with the loss of the team’s first two picks in the 2017 draft. Both the fine and picks go to Houston.
In addition, former Cardinals front office employee Chris Correa was banned from the game. Correa admitted to the hacking, and is serving a federal prison sentence of 46 months.
On Tuesday afternoon, Correa issued a prepared statement in response to the decision handed down by the commissioner. Correa maintains that Houston first hacked St. Louis.
Correa in no instance pleads that he is innocent, in fact, the former Cardinals employee acknowledges that he did break the law.
However, he says that Houston hacked St. Louis and took proprietary data, but the office of the commissioner did not do anything about the hack. Correa said the commissioner’s office would not even meet with him to talk about the scandal.
Following the statement Correa released, the commissioner’s office responded with one of its own saying that an ongoing FBI investigation stopped them from interviewing Correa and other witnesses.
Following the FBI investigation, the commissioner’s office attempted to gain the cooperation of Correa, but said he did not come forward to help. Therefore, MLB said that they were not provided with any evidence that substantiated other allegations that were made in Correa’s letter.
For many involved in this and for observers as well, the credibility of Correa comes into serious question. In addition, the internal investigation of the Cardinals was consistent with the findings made by the commissioner’s office according to a statement released by CEO and chairman Bill DeWitt.
DeWitt’s statement said the organization respected the decision of the commissioner and appreciated that finally a resolution closing the matter had been reached.
A number of current employees with the Astros, including Jeff Luhnow the general manager and Sig Mejdal an analyst, worked with Correa previously in St. Louis.
Correa is in prison currently for 12 counts that amount to corporate espionage.
The $2 million fine will hurt the Cardinals, but the long-term effects of losing two picks this year in the draft will remain longer.