Report: “four to five” Cardinals employees being focused on by investigators

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New developments in the Cardinals hacking case overnight.

  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports that the FBI has traced the breach of the Houston Astros’ database back to a house in Jupiter, Florida. That’s where the Cardinals hold spring training. Passan notes that multiple people within the Cardinals organization use the house, which could make it tough to determine who, exactly, the culprit was and whether or not they were acting alone.
  • Meanwhile, David Barron and Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle report that “four to five individuals within the Cardinals organization” are a focus of investigators. They also note that, according to multiple sources, the FBI is expected to complete its investigation soon.

As I noted yesterday, the fact that this is an FBI investigation and the fact that this could and likely will invoke the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act makes this serious, with anyone ultimately accused of being involved in the plot being subject to major charges which could entail jail time and massive fines. The feds don’t mess around. At the same time, however, there has yet to be anything to this story suggesting that this was somehow orchestrated by anyone high up in the Cardinals organization, and the fact that the breach came from a house which sounds like it would be used by lower level employees — someone as important as John Mozeliak isn’t sharing living space with a bunch of guys — bolsters the notion that it was not some top-down plot.

Such a situation would not totally absolve higher-ups with the Cardinals if they were aware of the breach after the fact and did not tell Major League Baseball about it, but this is sounding more and more like some sort of weird and petty revenge plot, not a sophisticated and coordinated case of corporate espionage.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.