Cards employee dismissed for Astros data breach
ST. LOUIS -- Scouting director Chris Correa, a member of the Cardinals' front office since 2009, was dismissed by the organization on Wednesday after he admitted to accessing the Astros' database without authorization. General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the firing, which was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday afternoon.
The Cardinals have been under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for several months regarding unauthorized entry into the Astros' computer systems. According to The New York Times, which broke the story on June 16, evidence was discovered that at least one Cardinals employee illegally accessed a database that contained internal discussions of trades and scouting reports.
Citing a source, the Post-Dispatch reported that Correa was trying to discover if the Astros had stolen proprietary data. Houston's system was built with the oversight of general manager Jeff Luhnow, who went to the Astros in 2011 after working in the Cardinals' front office.
Mozeliak said that Correa had been on administrative leave before the organization decided to terminate his employment. The timing creates some complexity, too, as Correa had been overseeing the signings of players taken in the June Draft.
Since Correa's leave of absence began, Mozeliak has been the point person for those signings. He will remain in charge of any high-level scouting decisions, and Jared Odom, a baseball operations assistant in the amateur scouting department, will take over other day-to-day duties of the position.
With the FBI investigation ongoing, Mozeliak would not comment on the impact of Correa's dismissal, the potential involvement of other employees or the specifics of Correa's alleged missteps. Concurrently, the Cardinals are running their own internal investigation, led by Jim Martin and the law firm of Dowd Bennett.
"I think, at this time, it's just best to understand it's an open investigation and any other comments are not in anybody's best interest," Mozeliak said.
Mozeliak did not discuss how much longer the separate investigations are expected to last.
Correa left a doctoral program at the University of Michigan to join the organization in 2009, and he worked under Luhnow as a statistical analyst. He went on to lead the organization's baseball development program after Luhnow's departure, and he was most recently put in charge of the scouting department when Dan Kantrovitz left to take a front-office job in Oakland. Correa ran the Cardinals' Draft last month.
According to the Post-Dispatch, Correa was not responsible for the leak of Astros' data that occurred last summer, nor did he take part in subsequent breaches that the FBI alleges to have occurred.