The FBI and the Justice Department reportedly are investigating Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals for allegedly hacking into the Houston Astros’ computer network. According to the New York Times, law enforcement officials have discovered evidence that Cardinals officials broke into Astros databases that contained sensitive information about players, trades, statistics and scouting reports.
Law enforcement officials said the breach dates back to at least 2013. The Astros and Cardinals played in the same division until the end of the 2012 season, when the Astros were moved from the National League Central to the American League West.
The names of Cardinals officials at the center of the investigation have not been revealed, nor is it known if the team’s top brass were aware of the alleged breach. The Times stated that subpoenas already have been served to the Cardinals and MLB for “electronic correspondence.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that the league “has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros’ baseball operations database.”
The Cardinals are one of the most successful teams in professional baseball, claiming three World Series titles in the last 10 years. The squad is in the midst of another contending year, leading the National League with a 42-21 record.
However, law enforcement officials believe the hacking was done in a “vengeful” manner to upend the work of Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow, who worked with the Cardinals from 2003 to 2011.
The Cardinals released a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
"The St. Louis Cardinals are aware of the investigation into the security breach of the Houston Astros' database," the team said. "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."