The St. Louis Cardinals are under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for allegedly hacking into internal networks of the Houston Astros, according to a New York Times report.
Investigators have uncovered evidence that officials from the Cardinals, who have been one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball over the last two decades, broke into a database containing the Astros’ internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports.
Law enforcement officials believe the hacking was directed at Jeff Luhnow, the Astros general manager, who worked in the Cardinals’ front office from 2003 to 2011. He joined the Astros in 2011, bringing some front-office personnel with him.
The Astros were formerly division rivals of the Cardinals in the National League Central. Houston has since moved to the American League West, where the team sits in first place after a radical transformation under Luhnow.
Investigators believe that Cardinals officials were concerned that Luhnow and other former St. Louis personnel had brought proprietary information and ideas to Houston.
In 2013, Houston’s internal deliberations about statistics and players were compromised, law enforcement officials said. Last year, 10 months worth of internal discussions by the Astros’ front office were leaked online, according to a Deadspin report.
The Cardinals officials that are under investigation haven’t been put on leave, suspended or fired, according to the New York Times. Major League Baseball said in a statement that “Once the investigative process has been completed by federal law enforcement officials, we will evaluate the next steps and will make decisions promptly.”
The Cardinals released a statement this morning:
“The St. Louis Cardinals are aware of the investigation into the security breach of the Houston Astros’ database. The team has fully cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so. Given that this is an ongoing federal investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further.”