On June 16 of the 2015 season, the St. Louis Cardinals were sitting at a record of 43-21. The Chicago Cubs were sitting six games back in second place. Through two and a half months of play, it was evident that the Cardinals had fielded yet another competitive team, a story typical of the last decade plus. That day, the baseball world learned some shocking news, and the first of its kind. Ex-Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa hacked a Houston Astros scouting database. Today, the team’s punishments for those actions were announced.
punishment for cardinals issued. they must give their top 2 picks to the astros, plus $2M.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 30, 2017
MLB Announces Punishment for Cardinals Hacking Astros
The Houston Astros have been awarded two picks in the coming first year player draft in June. These picks, the 56th and 75th overall, will leave the Cardinals with just the 94th pick out of the first 100. The Astros now own five of the first 100, with the 15th, 53rd, 56th, 75th, and 91st. Accompanied by these picks is a $2 million fine to be paid to the Houston franchise.
These sanctions close the book on an incident that extended as far back as 2013. Chris Correa had gained access to information on players in upcoming drafts, players the Astros had drafted, information the Atros had on players the Cardinals had just drafted, and much more. The Cardinals tried to avoid MLB sanction by suspending the suspected employees and running an internal investigation. The result was the firing of Correa on July 2, 2015. Last summer, Correa was sentenced to 46 months in prison, and was ordered to pay $279,000 in restitution to the Astros. In addition, today the Commissioner banned Correa from baseball for life by placing him on the permanently ineligible list.
Astros Outcome after ‘Hackgate’
The Astros are a young and very talented team. They will be competitive for at least a few more years. Adding to this, the farm is quite deep even after some of their most coveted prospects have graduated. These newly acquired picks will add to that and extend their hopes for a long window of contention. Expect to hear more on the strengths of the Houston farm system for the next few years.