Major League Baseball punishes Cardinals for hacking Astros

Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals is congratulated by his teammates after taking the field for the last time as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on October 2, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has ordered the St. Louis Cardinals to forfeit their top two picks in this year’s amateur draft and pay Houston $2 million as compensation for hacking the Astros email system and scouting database.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred banned former St. Louis scouting executive Christopher Correa for life on Monday and stripped the Cardinals of the 56th and 75th draft choices in June. They must pay the Astros the money within 30 days.

Correa pleaded guilty to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer from 2013 to at least 2014 and last July was sentenced by a federal judge to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay the Astros $279,038.65 in restitution.

“We respect the Commissioner’s decision and appreciate that there is now a final resolution to this matter,” said St. Louis Cardinals Chairman and CEO William O. DeWitt Jr. in a statement. “Commissioner Manfred’s findings are fully consistent with our own investigation’s conclusion that this activity was isolated to a single individual.”

This has been a long and challenging process for all of us, especially those within our baseball operations department,” said Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak in a statement. “We have learned a great deal along the way and we have taken additional steps to ensure that something like this doesn’t ever happen again.”