Former Cards exec said to accuse Astros in hacking case

NEW YORK (AP) — A statement on a Twitter account attributed to a former Cardinals scouting executive convicted of hacking into the Astros’ computer system said Houston had earlier “unauthorized access” into the St. Louis computer system.

Christopher Correa, the Cardinals former director of baseball development, is serving a 46-month prison sentence after pleading guilty last year to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer. He was banned from baseball for life on Monday by Commissioner Rob Manfred, who ordered St. Louis to give Houston $2 million and its top two picks in this year’s amateur draft.

Federal prosecutors said Correa had access to the Astros’ system from January 2012 until June 2014 and entered the team’s Ground Control database of confidential scouting reports, statistics and contract information 48 times.

The statement making the new allegations was released Tuesday on a Twitter account attributed to Correa. Correa’s lawyer, David Allen, did not respond to telephone messages inquiring about the statement.

“The Cardinals were not the organization that benefited from unauthorized access,” the statement said. “On Dec. 11, 2011, a Houston Astros employee accessed proprietary data on a St. Louis Cardinals server. Later, I would learn — through unlawful methods — that Cardinals’ data were used extensively from 2012 through 2014. Houston Astros employees used the data to replicate and evaluate key algorithms and decision tools related to amateur and professional player evaluation. Many individuals throughout the Houston organization, including the general manager and assistant general manager, were included in e-mail discussions about these efforts.”

Houston declined comment, spokesman Gene Dias said. The Cardinals did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Correa said he offered to meet with Manfred in 2015 but was rebuffed. Manfred said in a statement Tuesday that baseball’s investigations department deferred its probe until after Correa was sentenced last summer, and that Correa’s lawyer informed MLB last Aug. 23 that his client would not give the commissioner’s office any information.

“The department of investigations was not provided evidence to substantiate the other allegations contained in Mr. Correa’s letter, but remains willing to meet with Mr. Correa at any time,” MLB said in a statement.