ST. LOUIS (CN) – The St. Louis Cardinals have fire scouting director Chris Correa, amid allegations that club officials illegally hacked into the Houston Astros computer system.
Details of an FBI investigation came to light in June. Cardinals officials said they were cooperating with the investigation and were conducting their own review.
Cardinals attorney James G. Martin declined to comment on the reasons for Correa’s termination to the Post-Dispatch.
Correa’s attorney, Nicholas Williams, said in a statement: “Mr. Correa denies any illegal conduct. The relevant inquiry should be what information did former St. Louis Cardinals employees steal from the St. Louis Cardinals organization prior to joining the Houston Astros, and who in the Houston Astros organization authorized, consented to, or benefitted from that roguish behavior.”
But a source with knowledge of the investigation told the Post-Dispatch that Correa has admitted hacking into a Houston Astros database but said it was only to verify whether the Astros had stolen proprietary data.
Correa did not leak any Astros data, and is not responsible for additional hacks that the FBI has alleged occurred or leaking any data, the source told the newspaper.
The hacking allegedly occurred at a home shared by several Cardinals officials in Jupiter, Fla., the team’s Spring Training home. According to the New York Times, who broke the story of the FBI investigation, the hacking began as a way to find out if former Cardinals employee Jeff Luhnow took any proprietary information with him after he accepted the job as Houston’s general manager in December 2011.
Luhnow has denied taking any such information.
According to the Post-Dispatch, Correa left a Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan in 2009 to work on a contract basis with Luhnow, who was the Cardinals’ director of amateur scouting and farm director at the time. Correa joined the Cardinals front office full-time and was promoted to manager of baseball development in 2012.
This past winter, Correa was promoted to director of amateur scouting and oversaw the team’s draft preparation.
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