Remember when the Astros database got hacked and we all made fun of them for being big nerds with no security and Tim wrote a long article about their problems?
And then it turned out the hack was done by the Cardinals and not some anonymous Internet troll, but since it's the Cardinals, everyone assumed the embarrassing trade stuff was all that they took? And how the information was changing and probably useless to being with?
Turns out, that wasn't quite right. On Friday, sentencing began for Chris Correa, a former scouting executive with the Cardinals who was charged with 12 counts of misdeeds related to the hack. We found out what exactly he stole. To wit:
It gets worse:
Feds claim after the Astros did a system-wide reset of Ground Control passwords, Correa hacked into Luhnow’s EMAIL.
— Lindsey Adler (@Lahlahlindsey) January 8, 2016
That last thing makes it seem so much worse, on a personal level. But let's get to the nitty gritty. The Cardinals took scouting info Houston was compiling on its highest level of draft prospects. In that batch of information, they found the offers Houston was considering for those guys.
Since much of the draft is done hush-hush and off-the-books in promises before the actual draft ("If you're there in the third round, we can offer you $1 million), this is highly damaging information. If the Cards knew what the Astros wanted to offer a particular player, they could up it. Then, said dude could give the Astros the cold shoulder in the leadup to the draft.
At best, the Astros would have to pay more. At worst, the kid would refuse to sign and go back to school.
Did this happen? It's hard to say. But that's much more damaging information in the moment and could lead to harsh penalties for the Cards organization in the coming months. The judge in the case, Lynn Hughes, valued the data obtained at $1.7 million. That's roughly what the first-round bonus for the Cardinals got in slot value last year.
Oh, and just so Tim can be vindicated:
That url left on screen when the Chron photographer snapped a photo probably caused this whole mess.
What's left? Correa told the judge today that he found Cardinals data in the Houston system. MLB has yet to investigate the matter, waiting until the federal case wrapped up. You can guarantee this will be taken into account. As Evan Drellich pointed out earlier, MLB prohibits teams from suing each other, meaning the only way Houston could get redress for this is from MLB itself.
We'll keep you posted.