Chris Correa, former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, pleaded guilty in federal court to hacking into the player database and email system of the Houston Astros in an unusual case of high-tech cheating involving major-league teams.

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Ex-Cardinals exec pleads guilty

The former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to hacking into the player database and email system of the Houston Astros in an unusual case of high-tech cheating involving major-league teams.

Chris Correa pleaded guilty to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer from 2013 to at least 2014, the same year he was promoted to director of baseball development in St. Louis. Correa, 35, was fired last summer and faces up to five years in prison on each charge when he is sentenced April 11.

“I accept responsibility in this case,” Correa told U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes in Houston. “I trespassed repeatedly.”

“So you broke in their house?” Hughes asked Correa, referring to the Astros.

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“It was stupid,” replied Correa, who is free on $20,000 bond.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said the hacking cost the Astros about $1.7 million, taking into account how Correa used the Astros’ data to draft players.

“It has to do with the talent that was on the record that they were able to have access to, that they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to,” he told reporters.

MLB officials could discipline the Cardinals, possibly with a fine or a loss of draft picks. They said they looked forward to getting details on the case from federal authorities.

The FBI said Correa was able to gain access using a password similar to that used by a Cardinals employee who “had to turn over his Cardinals-owned laptop to Correa along with the laptop’s password” when he was leaving for a job with the Astros in 2011. The employee was not identified, though Jeff Luhnow left St. Louis for Houston in December of that year and is the general manager of the Astros.

Storen is traded to Blue Jays

The Washington Nationals accommodated reliever Drew Storen, trading him to AL East champion Toronto for outfielder Ben Revere.

The Nationals will also get a player to be named and will send cash to the Blue Jays.

Storen, 28, had sought a deal, having lost his closer role in late July when the Nationals acquired Jonathan Papelbon from Philadelphia. Storen struggled in his eighth-inning role.

Angels, Santiago agree on deal

Left-hander Hector Santiago avoided a salary-arbitration hearing with the Los Angeles Angels, agreeing to a $5 million, one-year contract.

Santiago, 28, was 9-9 with a 3.59 earned-run average last year.


Djokovic, Nadal advance to final

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain are tied 23-23 in head-to-head matchups entering Saturday’s Qatar Open final in Doha.

Djokovic beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) to reach his 16th consecutive final. Nadal, seeded second, beat Illya Marchenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-4.

• American Sloane Stephens, the No. 5 seed, and unseeded German Julia Goerges will play for the ASB Classic title in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Gold medalist admits steroid use

Dutch discus thrower Ria Stalman, who retired after winning gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, admitted using anabolic steroids during the final 2½ years of her career.


• USA Bobsled and Skeleton went 3 for 3 in World Cup events on home ice in Lake Placid, N.Y., as Jamie Greubel-Poser and Cherelle Garrett won the women’s bobsled; Steven Holcomb and Carlo Valdes took the two-man bobsled; and Annie O’Shea triumphed in the skeleton.

• The NHL New York Rangers have traded forward Emerson Etem, 23, to the Vancouver Canucks for American Hockey League forward Nicklas Jensen, 22, and a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft.

Denna Laing’s parents said the pro hockey player suffered a severe spinal cord injury when she struck the boards Dec. 31 in a game in Foxborough, Mass., one day before the NHL Winter Classic. Laing was playing for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League.

Jerilyn and Dennis Laing said Denna, 24, “has limited movement of her arms and no feeling in her legs.”