St. Louis Cardinals ex-official pleads guilty to Astros hack

Getty Images

The former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals pleaded guilty on Friday to criminal charges related to the hacking of the Houston Astros.

Chris Correa, who was fired by the Cardinals last year, admitted that from March 2013 through at least March 2014, he illegally accessed a private database used by the Astros to track player development.

In one instance, he accessed the scout rankings of every player eligible for the draft, according to the Department of Justice.

Among other things, he also viewed a weekly digest page describing the performance and injuries of prospects who the Astros were considering for recruitment, as well as a regional scout’s assessment of different prospects and the bonus he proposed be offered.

According to the Department of Justice, Correa was able to obtain an Astros employee’s password because that employee had previously been employed by the Cardinals.

Previous reports have suggested that investigators believed that whoever accessed the database used login information belonging to former Cardinals exec Jeff Luhnow, now the Astros’s general manager.

Correa worked under Luhnow in St. Louis before Luhnow left for the job with the Astros in 2011.

No other personnel associated with the Cardinals organization have been charged. Correa has plead guilty to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer, each of which carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

The original FBI investigation into the breach was launched in 2014 when potential player trade information was leaked anonymously to Deadspin.

When Correa was fired in July, he admitted to accessing the database to confirm that Luhnow had not removed any proprietary information from the Cardinals, and his attorney denied “any illegal conduct.”

The Cardinals have been one of the most successful teams in the league in recent years, last winning the World Series in 2011.

A Major League Baseball representative said the league would offer a comment on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal.