Hey MLB, when are you going to punish the Cards?


Between 2013 and 2014, Chris Correa, the St. Louis Cardinals’ scouting director at the time hacked into the Houston Astros’ servers multiple times and accessed confidential data about potential Astros’ draft picks, player information and trade talks among other information that he should not have seen from one of his 29 competitors. Federal prosecutors estimated this action as costing the Astros $1.7 million in intellectual property and proceeded to agree to a plea bargain that put Correa in federal prison for 46 moths and cost him approximately $280,000 in fines.

The sentencing occurred on July 19, 2016, almost five months ago, and since that time major league baseball has been quieter than crickets in announcing what they would or would not do to the Cardinal organization as a result of this federal crime. The thought was that MLB could possibly fine the Cardinals, take away draft picks from them or even award picks from the Cards to the Astros as punishment. But nothing has happened.

MLB has suspended players such as Jose Reyes and Aroldis Chapman for domestic abuse in situations where they did not get convicted of a crime or sent to prison (though they may have deserved it). This is not to downplay the handling of domestic abuse, but to ask the question – Why is there a delay in this situation? A serious crime occurred according to the federal government. Guilt was found and punishment meted out from a legal standpoint. What is MLB waiting for 5 months later to take action on one of their own teams?

  • Do they think that Luhnow had taken proprietary information from the Cards and deserved to be hacked?
  • Do they not hold teams to the same standards they hold individual players?
  • Are they hoping that this will fade away and fans, writers and other interested parties will forget about it?
  • Do they think that Correa was truly a lone wolf rogue and don’t hold the Cards responsible for what he did?

The bottom line is that it is time for the MLB to come forward even if it is to find the Cardinals blameless in this crime. The Astros might have made different free agent decisions this off-season, if hypothetically they had received an extra 1st round pick from the Cards in the upcoming draft. It is time for the inaction and silence to end.

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27 comments on “Hey MLB, when are you going to punish the Cards?

  1. Major League teams cannot sue each other. When one teams’ representatives injure another team, it has to be handled by the league.
    Manfred talked tough about the crime, but has shielded the Cards for their lack of responsibility, so far. The fact that the Cards picked right ahead of the Astros in one of those draft years and had access to the Astros draft information, has to indicate that the Cards were aided in the draft by having twice the information that they were supposed to have, and that put the Astros at a distinct disadvantage.
    Manfred has to award a high draft pick from the Cardinals to the Astros and the slot money to pay for it, or he is just a mouth and nothing more.
    He said this was a serious crime and that the league has to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If he doesn’t make the perpetrating team pay the team who was the victim, how is he going to prevent it from happening again.
    If the Astros don’t get compensated, we know that Crane has no pull with the league whatsoever, or that he just made a deal with the league so they could save face, or both.

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    • Crane has no pull with the league. If he did, and he was smart, he’d never sell out the Houston fanbase. But this is old news. I’d expect this whole matter will go away quietly since Crane is MLB’s bitch. (Sorry for the accurate, yet offensive language.)

      Crane has finally shown that he wants to win, and spend accordingly. Go out there and get a TOR hurler, and do it now! The window of opportunity is short in Houston.

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  2. When the Red Sox signed Yoan Moncada In 2015 they paid him a signing bonus of $31.5 million. Then they paid the league $31.5million in penalties for being over their pool allotment.
    They traded him this week for Chris Sale and Chicago did not throw in any money into the deal.
    When a team like the Red Sox wants a player, money is no object. They have all the money they need.
    Baseball is a business where the rich run roughshod over the poor. They charge new franchises huge amounts of money to join MLB and the long established teams then are even richer, because they don’t have the debt, so they can spend huge amounts to get the best players. The playing field is always tilted toward the rich and the money keeps rolling downhill.
    In the latest CBA the league imposed higher penalties for going over the cap, but then announced that they will continually raise the cap for the five years the CBA is in effect. Most teams do not have the income to hit the ceiling now, let alone where it will be five years from now.
    But some teams can afford to throw $63 million at a player and then trade him a little more than a year later and end up with one of the best pitchers in baseball.
    Is that a level playing field?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree Billy C – my only point is that MLB gave out punishments swiftly there without a legal punishment having been doled out and here they are dragging their feet 5 months after an impartial 3rd party found guilt and handed out punishment.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In major sports, to include the NCAA, the commissioner has unlimited power to do anything, or do nothing. Goes against what one would consider “fair play” but it is what it is. So PEDs, or gambling can ruin the “integrity” of the game. Of course hacking the tradings and draft information is OK.

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  4. MLBTR reports Peter Gammons saying that the price for Quintana from the Astros was Musgrove, Martes and K.Tucker.
    This illustrates what I was talking about earlier, when I said that rich teams don’t care about money. The Red Sox made the deal because in a few years they will just buy more expensive players because they traded their prospects..
    The Astros have to hold on to their young prospects because in a few years the Astros core will not be all be affordable to the Astros and the rich teams will force the Astros to trade some of them, or lose them in free agency. The league just guaranteed in the CBA that teams like the Astros, who won’t be able to afford a bunch of $30 million a year players, will no longer get compensated with first round picks either. The rich teams won’t care about that draft pick because they will pay a Correa more money than the Astros can. The only way the Astros will be able to recoup anything for Correa is to trade him to a rich team before he signs with another one.
    This is why I jump up and down about the Astros developing their own pitchers and keeping them and injecting them into their rotation. That is the way for the Astros to keep up. Don’t trade them!
    I think Luhnow has done a great job so far this offseason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan, I feel the Cardinals should be punished severely. I feel they should lose a high draft choice and should be monetarily fined. I also feel that if the table was turned and the Astros committed the same crime, this would already be decided with a harsh outcome for the Stros. The Cardinals are one of the leagues pretty boys and there is an intimidating factor with the commisioner because of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Since the league is on record as deeming it a serious offense, then there should be serious consequences. It should have happened by now, but let’s say by the end of the year? I think it will be just monetary.

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    • Yes, the Cardinals should have some retributions assessed upon them but, I believe, because they are one of the leagues’ “matinee” teams, they will not punished at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with the posts, but would like to put an amendment on them. It is difficult if not impossible to develop 8 separate position players plus the pitchers. You normally have shortages and excesses. So you need to trade those excesses if possible to keep those in the pipeline moving. These proposals are not trading the excess.

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  6. They SHOULD be punished, but I doubt it will be as much as we think it should be.
    It SHOULD happen by the beginning of spring training, but I doubt it. Manfred is playing out of sight out of mind game with this.
    It SHOULD be at a minimum $250,000.00, and a first round draft pick!!
    Do I think any of this will happen? Nope.
    The players the White Sox wanted for Quintana was:
    Musgrove
    Martes
    K. Tucker
    I would have had a stroke if Luhnow had done that trade! QUIT trading our young pitchers!! Have we forgotten that good pitcher we gave the A’S?????? Daniel Mengden, who by the way has the BEST mustache in baseball!!

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    • That’s a Randy Johnson haul for a Wandy Rodriguez pitcher. I read the comments on mlbtr and was floored. People there were saying Quintana is highly underrated and cited his > 60% no decision rate as the reason. I see a pitcher that peaked early in 2016 and faded down the stretch. We can have someone better, for less, in July. The only drawback is years of control.

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      • He’s got a lifetime WHIP better than any of our guys and a better ERA (are we still allowed to use that old stat?) than everyone but McCullers. He went 6.5 innings a start last year. How many of our guys did that? And Wandys stats are not close.

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  7. I would have done that trade. The simple fact is that those guys are still prospects. We have no idea what they will do, regardless of their projections. Quintana is almost a guarantee. He’s remarkably consistent and simply a damned good pitcher. And he remains under team control for several years.

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    • I’m thinking if the White Sox would take Fisher instead of KTuck the deal might get done. I’m not sure if I would still do it, but I think it could get done with this change.

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  8. Out of all the baseball fans on earth, only a very few of them, a negligible group of Astro partisans, are demanding accountability. But the latest, spineless commissioner and the good old boy group of owners could care less. If the Yankees got screwed in similar fashion, justice would have been swift and harsh. Let’s not hold our collective breath. At some point there will be a wrist slap.

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  9. I have compared everything I can find in the way of OTBG stats and Advanced stats, and I cannot for the life of me find justification for having Fiers listed on the depth chart ahead of Musgrove. That said, If you wanted to trade a starting pitcher, you would want the team you are trading him to to believe he was a starting pitcher, right?
    Last offseason Luhnow said that Musgrove was one of the guys everyone was interested in. Now, we find out that the CWS wanted him, too.
    If you look real closely at Kyle Tucker and his MLB.com evaluations, you will understand why the Astros don’t want to lose him in a trade. If you took the player Kyle Tucker is now, at age 19, and put him in the MLB draft, he would be on top of every major league team’s draft board. He was that good last season.
    You take out the three relief appearances that Martes had to make in the tandem early in the year and his stats look even better. And he just turned 21 in November.
    Cionel Perez was signed this week and injected into the Astros Top 30 prospect list at #15. The player who he knocked out of the Top 30 list was Myles Straw, who led all of minor league baseball in BA in 2016.
    Does any team in baseball have a #28, #29, and #30 listed prospects who had such a year as the Astros did? Laureano, Martin and Stubbs put up great numbers and all are much younger than the leagues they played in. And they play premium positions.

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  10. The Astros have a set lineup. They have already established that they are not going to give away the farm or, at least, the part of the farm that the White Sox want.
    I think they are going to make more changes, but I think they are going to be patient and let people settle down and contemplate on what they need to add or subtract.
    In the meantime, I thought this article from the people up I45 was rather revealing:
    http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/mac-engel/article120204198.html
    It seems that all is not so cherry in Arlington.

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  11. cards should lose their #1 pick to the astros (maybe others as well) and be fined heavily, with that fine going to the astros to use to sign that pick. an example has to be set or the integrity of the game gets a big chink in its armor.

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  12. What the Cardinals did is done, and no punishment can change that. What punishing the Cardinals can do is affect the incentives of future teams in a similar situation — and that could include the Astros. So it’s not obvious you want to throw the book at the Cardinals.

    The question is whether the Cardinals as an organization facilitated the crime, either explicitly or implicitly through the team culture. If so, you want to disincentivize that facilitation through a relatively harsh penalty. If not, then the guilty party has already been punished and that’s that.

    I’m not aware of any evidence on whether the Cardinals facilitated the crime, but that’s the relevant question.

    Like

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