This just in by Derrick Goold………..
The illegal actions of a former Cardinals executive that put him in prison will also cost the team draft picks and a punitive fine in one of the harshest penalties enforced by Major League Baseball in recent memory.
And the Houston Astros will directly benefit.
In a decision issued Monday afternoon by commissioner Rob Manfred, the Cardinals have been fined $2 million in damages — possibly the largest ever for one team — and their first two picks in the coming draft have been taken away as a result of an illegal hack into Houston’s database. The two picks, Nos. 56 and 75, will go to the Astros, as will the slot money assigned to those picks. The $2-million fine will also be paid to the Cardinals’ former division rivals.
The commissioner’s decision also bans Correa from returning to baseball. He has been placed on the permanently ineligible list, the same one that includes Pete Rose.
No other individual was punished in the decision.
The commissioner’s office did not find any other member of the Cardinals staff, present or former, who was a part of Correa’s actions. Though the commissioner, in his forthcoming decision, ruled that the Cardinals benefited from Correa’s actions and that the club, as a whole, was “liable for his misconduct.”
The Cardinals have 30 days to pay the fine.
As a result of signing free-agent Dexter Fowler, the Cardinals have already given up their earliest draft pick, No. 19. Before the penalties, the Cardinals had the second-smallest draft bonus pool of the 30 teams, and Tuesday’s decision will nearly slice it in half. The Cardinals will lose the bonus allotment assigned to pick No. 56 ($1,122,400) and No. 75 ($730,800). That drops their total available bonus pool from $3,925,500 to $2,072,300. Houston’s draft pool will grow by the same amount as a result of being awarded the Cardinals picks.
The Cardinals first pick in the draft this June now will be No. 94.
This is a developing story broken here at The Post-Dispatch and there will be further comments Tuesday afternoon from team and baseball officials. This story will be updated as necessary.