A federal judge has unsealed new documents that implicated former Cardinal’s executive, Chris Correa in the hacking scandal involving the Houston Astro’s player development data base.
According to the Houston Chronicle, U.S. district judge Lynn Hughes made public three documents, which could speed up the process of Major League Baseball’s decision to punish the St. Louis Cardinals.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has stated a decision on the case will be completed this offseason.
“We are in the process of finishing up our investigation,” said Manfred. “I wish it had gotten a little more help a little sooner from the U.S. attorney’s office. But the cards come up how they come up, and we’re going to finish our investigation, and there will be a resolution of that during this offseason,” Manfred told reporters last fall.
The Cardinals fired Correa after an internal investigation of the hacking in 2015 and currently, the former Cardinal executive is serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to five counts of unauthorized access to a public computer in January 2016.
The new documents state how Correa had a rivalry with Sig Mejdal, the head of the Astro’s analytics team. Mejdal had previously worked for the Cardinals and used the same password for his e-mail account with the Astros as the one he used while with the St. Louis. This allowed Correa to gain access to Mejdal’s account because the two had worked side by side with the Cardinals.
When Mejdal left to work for the Astros he turned his computer over to Correa with the password.
The documents state the lengths Correa went through to hide his identity and change passwords in the Astros’ player database so he could continue monitoring team management conversations and decision making.
“When Correa intruded into the Ground Control accounts of Mejdal, GM Luhnow, analyst Wyers, and other victims, Correa too was forced to change the default password to some password that he created. When he was done intruding into these accounts, Correa took care to change the password back to the default password to avoid tipping off the owners that someone else had accessed their accounts,” the document states.
The documents go on to say how Correa used a competitive advantage to look into players the Astros were interested in before using the information for his own benefit.
In total during the two-and-a-half year time frame, Correa accessed the accounts 48 times according to the documents. He was able to look at scouting reports, trade negotiations, and injury reports with the Astros database to determine strategies the team was going to use moving forward.
Correa used the information from the Astros player database to influence the decision making for the Cardinals during their 2013 draft. Specifically, Correa kept a close eye on current Cardinal’s pitcher Marco Gonzales, whom the team took with its first-round selection and Hunter Dozier, currently with the Kansas City Royals.
This new information should be enough for commissioner Manfred to decide the punishment he will levy against the Cardinals ahead of the 2017 season.
The penalty could range from a fine, to the loss of draft picks, to the teams’ ability to spend on young talent.
The Cardinals open up Spring training on February 14th and according to the article in the Houston Chronicle, a decision on a punishment for St. Louis could be decided as soon as this week.
Both commissioner Manfred as well as Cardinal’s general manager John Mozeliak are eager to put this matter behind them and move forward with the 2017 season.
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/AP Images]