Hacking scandal fallout: Cardinals hire former reliever Randy Flores as new scouting director

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Two months ago, in the wake of the Astros database hacking scandal, the Cardinals fired scouting director Chris Correa. Today they named a replacement, with Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reporting that the Cardinals have hired longtime big league reliever Randy Flores to take over the job.

Flores spent parts of eight seasons in the majors, including 2004-2008 with the Cardinals, throwing a total of 250 innings with a 4.61 ERA as a southpaw specialist. He last pitched in 2010 and is 40 years old.

Goold reports that Flores will officially begin the job on September 1 and “will oversee the Cardinals’ draft approach, from the scouting of players to the evaluation of players to the strategy behind the use of their bonus pool.”

Correa was fired in July after allegedly admitting to hacking into Houston’s database, although according to various reports he insisted it was done only to “verify” the Astros had stolen information from the Cardinals. Correa’s lawyer issued a statement saying he “denies any illegal conduct.”

Report: Padres acquire Tommy Pham from Rays

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Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres have acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Rays in exchange for outfielder Hunter Renfroe and Single-A middle infielder Xavier Edwards. The Padres are also expected to receive an as yet unknown prospect from the Rays.

Pham, 31, is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $8.6 million for the 2020 season. This past season with the Rays, Pham was valued at 3.7 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference, playing solid defense while batting .273/.369/.450 with 21 home runs, 68 RBI, 77 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases over 654 plate appearances.

Renfroe, 27, is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility as a Super Two player. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn a $3.4 million salary in 2020. He’s coming off of a campaign in which he set a career-high in home runs with 33 while batting .216/.289/.489 with 64 RBI and 64 runs scored across 494 trips to the plate.

Edwards, 20, was selected by the Padres in the first round (38th overall) of the 2018 draft and was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the organization, per MLB Pipeline. He spent 2019 between Single-A Fort Wayne and High-A Lake Elsinor, batting a combined .322/.375/.396 with 27 extra-base hits, 43 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases in 561 PA.

The Padres needed to upgrade the offense in the outfield as the club ranked in the bottom-third of the league with an aggregate .740 OPS from all three outfield spots. The club sent Franmil Reyes, who put up an .849 OPS for the Padres over the first four months of 2019, to the Indians at the trade deadline. Wil Myers put up a slightly below average .739 OPS and Manuel Margot posted a light .691 OPS.

It will be interesting to see if the Rays can level up Renfroe. He certainly hits for power but he will need to work on his on-base skills if he is going to help this trade pan out well for the Rays. Edwards will help as well, as he is rated No. 72 overall among prospects across the league, according to MLB Pipeline. Along with the talent acquired in the trade, the Rays save a bit of money swapping Pham for Renfroe.