Former Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa, who was dismissed by the organization earlier this year for his role in the Cardinals’ unauthorized accessing of the Astros’ proprietary computer network, is scheduled to plead guilty to criminal charges today, report Brian Costa and Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal. Per the report, Correa has tentatively agreed to plead guilty to five of 12 charges against him. It’s unclear at this time if further St. Louis employees will be implicated or if any further legal repercussions will stem from Correa’s plea.
For those unfamiliar with the situation, the Cardinals were reported to be the subject of a federal investigation in connection with an unauthorized entry into Houston’s proprietary network, named Ground Control, back in June. Roughly a year prior to the report, a large amount of Astros’ trade notes and discussions were leaked and became public knowledge, bringing considerable scrutiny on the Astros organization. Then-and-current Houston GM Jeff Luhnow previously worked for the Cardinals, and it later emerged that one or more members of the St. Louis organization had been involved in the database breach.
Correa, at the time of his firing, denied any illegal activity via a statement from his lawyer. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported at the time that Correa claimed to access the database only to verify that Luhnow did not take any proprietary information with him when leaving the Cardinals organization. Of course, it’s not clear that such a defense would hold much water from a legal perspective. And Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reported shortly after the Cardinals’ involvement first came to light that the team’s employees had accessed Ground Control on multiple occasions, with separate instances reportedly occurring in 2012, 2013 and again in 2014.