Monday, January 30, 2017

Thoughts on MLB Punishment of Cardinals

The sordid story of the hacking of the Houston Astros computer network by St Louis Cardinals employee, Chris Correa, appears to have come to the end, or maybe it hasn't.  The perpetrator, former Cardinals Scouting Director, Chris Correa, was long ago sentenced to 46 months in prison for his role, but that was only the criminal side of the case.  There were also damages to assess and today MLB gave the Cardinals their punishment:  $2 M and the Cardinals first 2 remaining draft picks for 2017, #'s 56 and 75 overall.

Many analysts feel the Cardinals got off light and the punishment should have included a first round draft pick.  First of all, I don't in any way condone the actions of Chris Correa.  I think his prison sentence is a bit long for the crime, but his lifetime ban from employment in MLB is not.  I have to say it is still not clear to me what Correa was looking for except he seems to have realized he was over his head and and he needed the opinions of his former colleagues to do his job, which was evaluate prospects.  If Correa used that information to, say, draft a prospect he knew the Astros wanted and thus "stole" that player from them, then there may have been tangible damages.  We don't know if that happened.

Picks #56 and 75 are not first rounders by any stretch, but the Giants landed Bryan Reynolds and Heath Quinn with similar level picks last draft and we are all quite happy they did.  Those picks not only give the Astros a bigger signing bonus pool, they give them access to two players who may well go on to be valuable MLB players.  So, the Astros made out well, IMO.

One thing I question is how fair is this to other teams not involved in the incident.  In particular the other teams in the AL West cannot be happy that the Astros, who have built a very strong core team, have access to even more talent.  I mean, how would you as a Giants fan feel if the Dodgers suddenly had 2 extra high round draft picks because someone from another organization hacked their computer?  For this reason, I believe the proper punishment/restitution would have been for the Cardinals to simply forfeit the draft picks and the Astros receive only money.  It would have to be more than $2 M, of course, but the money would be less damaging to the other teams in the AL and particularly the AL West.


  1. I don't see how the Astros were actually harmed. Embarrassed maybe since they were so easily hacked by a neophyte. But harmed? I just don't see it.

    So them getting anything... I don't even see cash as a remedy. And draft choices... As you pointed out, that's unfair to the other teams in their division.

  2. Agree with you on the extra picks going to the Astros. Maybe the MLB should have just penalized the Cardinals by taking those picks, plus their 2018 1st rounder, without another team benefiting. That and/or lowering the Cardinals 'Competitive Balance Tax' for a season or two. I think that would deter any team from doing this.

  3. Was Indianapolis rewarded for great deflation controversy?
    If it really happened AND had any effect, there was "injury" to the Colts, but they got nothing except a shellacking.