12:16pm: Manfred has issued a statement disputing elements of Correa’s account. Per the commissioner, the league decided not to investigate the matter until federal authorities had wrapped up their work. But the league’s Department of Investigations circled back to Correa’s camp last summer (following his guilty plea) to request his cooperation, which was not forthcoming.
“On July 21, 2016, Mr. Correa was informed directly that he would be placed on the permanently ineligible list if he did not cooperate with the Department of Investigations. Mr. Correa not only steadfastly refused to answer any questions, but also opposed the release of any documents by the government to the Office of the Commissioner. On August 23, 2016, Mr. Correa’s attorney told the Department of Investigations that Mr. Correa was not interested ’in providing any information directly or indirectly to MLB.’ The Department of Investigations was not provided evidence to substantiate the other allegations contained in Mr. Correa’s letter, but remains willing to meet with Mr. Correa at any time.”
9:46am: Former Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa, who is currently serving a 46-month sentence for improperly accessing the databases of the Astros organization, has leveled similar charges against the Houston front office via Twitter. His claim comes in the wake of the league’s decision yesterday to punish St. Louis in the form of two draft picks and $2MM (which will go to the Astros as a form of compensation).
According to Correa’s statement, an unidentified member of the Astros organization “accessed proprietary data on a St. Louis Cardinals server” late in 2011. Further, he charges, the Astros utilized the Cardinals’ information “to replicate and evaluate key algorithms and decision tools related to amateur and professional player evaluation.” Most seriously, perhaps, Correa alleges that Houston GM Jeff Luhnow and then-assistant GM David Stearns “were included in e-mail discussions about these efforts.”
Needless to say, these new allegations do not come from an outwardly credible or impartial source. As he acknowledges in his own statement, the apparent support for his allegations was obtained “through unlawful methods.” We’ve yet to see or hear anything regarding actual proof for Correa’s assertions. And the league has given no indication that it has or will investigate the matter, despite Correa saying that he offered to provide commissioner Rob Manfred with information at the time that the scandal broke.
The Astros will not issue further comment at this time, per David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. The organization did release a statement yesterday, saying that it had cooperated fully into the various investigations and emphasizing that it is “pleased to have closure on this issue.” The club stated that it was in support of Manfred’s decision, calling it “a clear message of the severity of these actions.” And Astros general counsel Giles Kibbe recently told Barron and Chronicle colleague Jake Kaplan that, “as we have previously stated, we did not have any of the Cardinals’ proprietary information in Ground Control or our database.”
Those interested in learning more about the background of this matter can find it in MLBTR’s extensive prior coverage. This post lays out many of the key facts that emerged after a federal investigation was undertaken following the public release of proprietary Astros information. Additional information about Correa’s misdeeds was publicized for the first time over the weekend, including his potential role in the public leak and the nature of his access to the Cardinals’ systems.