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Cardinals fined $2 million, must send two draft picks to Astros as hacking penalty

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The punishment for the incident in which former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa hacked into the Houston Astros scouting and analytics database has been issued: The Cardinals have been fined $2 million and must surrender two draft picks to the Astros.

The picks are their two highest in this year’s draft: a second round pick, which is the 56th overall and a Compensation Round B pick, which is the 75th overall pick. Moreover, Correa,was sentenced to 46 months in prison for the hack, has been placed on the permanently ineligible list and will no longer be able to hold a job in Major League Baseball. The Commissioner has issued a formal set of findings with respect to the matter. They are set out in full below.

The money, in the grand scheme of things, is not much for a major league baseball team. That’s less than the Cardinals will pay reliever Seung-hwan Oh in 2017. The draft picks are more costly, though not substantially so. As the Post-Dispatch reporter earlier this month the Cards spent aggressively in the international market in the past year or so, inspired in part, one can assume, to compensate for the anticipated loss of draft picks due to the sanction that has now been levied.

I’m sure many will question whether this was sufficient punishment for the Cardinals. My personal view is that, as institutional punishment, it’s rather light given what transpired. Others will likely argue that it was too severe due to Manfred’s findings that only Correa was responsible for the hack and the Cards’ liability here was only vicarious.

I think it’s fair to say that the long prison sentence given Correa in this incident — too long if you ask me — is a far greater deterrent to such acts being committed in the future than anything MLB could do to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Here are Commissioner Manfred’s findings:

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Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.