Christopher Correa, the Cardinals former director of baseball development, later its scouting director, has pled guilty to five federal counts in the case of hacking into the scouting databases of Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and his staff.
It should be noted that, some conspiratorial types aside, he was the only person charged in the case.
That said, this is not minor. Each of the five charges, presumably each from a separate entry into the Astros system, bears punishment of up to five years in prison, $250K in fines or both, per the Houston Chronicle. Chronicle sports blogger David Barron Tweets that sentencing is set for April 11.
Correa will also pay $275K restitution based on the estimated value of the damages:
The value of the information that Correa gained unauthorized access has been set at $1.7 million. Federal attorneys said they came to the $1.7 million figure based on the Astros’ scouting budget and the number of players included in the database.
More details on the St. Louis side from Derrick Goold at the Post-Dispatch, with Correa admitting in court he was “stupid.” Goold notes, per the offenses, that sentencing is not expected to be nearly as severe as the maximum.
While MLB teams cannot sue each other, they can ask for damages via the commissioner’s office. Sounds like Bill DeWitt will now need to get out the checkbook.
On that end, Goold adds this:
Major League Baseball, according to officials, have been waiting for a resolution to the investigation before beginning its own. The commissioner’s office intends to look into the results of the federal investigation when determining if and when penalties will be assessed against the Cardinals.
I would think Commissioner Manfred would like to clear this up before the start of the year, if not even the start of spring training.