Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has ruled that the St. Louis Cardinals must hand over its top two 2017 draft picks to the Houston Astros as punishment for a hacking scandal.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has ruled that the St. Louis Cardinals must hand over its top two 2017 draft picks to the Houston Astros as punishment for a hacking scandal.

Newly unsealed court documents have revealed the extensive case that U.S. prosecutors had built against Chris Correa, the former St. Louis Cardinals front-office executive who last year pleaded guilty to hacking into the Houston Astros' email and player scouting databases.

Released last week, the filings contain several eye-opening details about the breach. Among them: According to a document submitted by the U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson last July, Correa in April 2013 illegally accessed the Astros' private medical evaluations of various prospects, including Gonzaga University pitcher Marco Gonzales, whom the Cards would later draft with their first-round pick.

In the same filing, the prosecution also disputed the defense's “Pre-Sentence report” objection that Correa's unauthorized intrusions were "aberrant" in nature, noting there were 50 such instances in the span of 16 months. The same filing also attempts to debunk Correa's claims that his true motive for accessing Houston's database was to see if the Astros' had stolen any of his own team's proprietary information. “…his claims are contradicted by the network logs which show that the…pages he viewed were completely unrelated…” the prosecution wrote.

A separate sentencing memo filed by the U.S. noted that in addition to the Astros' team database, Correa also intruded into the email account of Sig Mejdal, Houston's director of decision science and a former Cardinals employee. The filing makes a case that Correa was envious of Mejdal for the praise his work had received from Sports Illustrated.

The unsealing of the documents was first reported by the Houston Chronicle, which published three court filings on its website.

Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, issued his own verdict on Monday, Jan. 30, ordering the Cardinals to forfeit its top two 2017 draft picks to the Astros and pay its former divisional rival $2 million.