Commissioner announces hacking decision
The long awaited penalties imposed on the Cardinals for the “hacking” scandal have finally come down. On Monday, January 30, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the Cardinals would forfeit two draft picks to the Houston Astros, as well as pay the Astros $2 million.
The Astros will receive picks No. 56 and 75 in the 2017 June draft, along with the allotted pool money that accompanies the picks. The $2 million fine is to be paid to the Astros within 30 days. This amount is higher than the damage calculation of $1.7 million dollars Federal prosecutors estimated to be the value of the information accessed illegally by former St. Louis Scouting Director Chris Correa.
Correa was convicted and sentenced to 46 months in a federal penitentiary last summer and is currently serving that sentence. As part of the Commissioner’s decision, Correa was placed on the permanent ineligible list, a position he shares with former Reds superstar Pete Rose. The Commissioner found no evidence that any other employee of the Cardinals organization was in the illegal intrusions.
Both the Cardinals and the Astros issued statements after the decision was announced. The Cardinals expressed respect for the Commissioner’s decision, and relief that the matter has been resolved. The Astros expressed support for the decision and appeared satisfied that the penalty was harsh enough to send a clear message as to the severity of Correa’s actions. The Astros also expressed their appreciation that the matter is over and closure has been reached.
As a result of the loss of draft picks, the Cardinals’ first pick in the June draft will be at No. 94. The Cardinals had already forfeited their first round pick as a result of signing free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak stated that he has reached out to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow to issue an apology on behalf of the organization. As a result of the actions of Correa, the Cardinals have taken steps to prevent any such future occurrence and have increased the security on their own internal database.
A very detailed timeline of events related to the hacking scandal is available at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Martinez signs contract extension
On Thursday, the Cardinals and pitcher Carlos Martinez reached an agreement on a five-year, $51 million contract extension, covering 2017-2021. Also included are two club options for 2022 and 2023.
The extension is the largest contract for a first-time arbitration-eligible pitcher, according to an MLB source.
The announcement came a week before the Cardinals and Martinez were scheduled for an arbitration hearing in Phoenix, AZ. The extension covers all three of Martinez’ arbitration years, and buys out at least two of his free agent years as well.
Negotiations on an extension opened earlier in the offseason, but talks stalled in mid-January when both sides filed arbitration numbers. Discussions resumed soon afterward, and culminated with the Thursday announcement. Both sides had expressed interest in a long term extension as early as last season, and Martinez has publicly expressed his desire to remain a Cardinal for his entire career.
Martinez led the club last season with 31 starts and more than 195 innings pitched. His winning percentage of .618 ranks third all-time among Cardinals pitchers 25 years of age or younger.
Martinez is set to anchor a 2017 starting rotation that includes veteran Adam Wainwright, who is signed through 2018, Mike Leake, signed through 2020, and top prospect Alex Reyes, who won’t hit free agency until 2022. Lance Lynn will be a free agent at the end of the 2017 season, while Michael Wacha, whose role as a starter is uncertain, remains unsigned as a first time arbitration eligible player. Wacha and the Cardinals are scheduled to go to an arbitration hearing this month on his 2017 salary.
Cardinals announce Spring Training broadcast schedule
The Cardinals' first Spring Training game against the Miami Marlins will take place on February 25 and will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest. This game along with 14 others will be available from the Cardinals television rights holder, which will also stream the games on their FoxSportsGo app and at www.FoxSportsGo.com .
As the Spring Training broadcast schedule was revealed this past week, fans will find all but one of the Cardinals’ 32 games available for broadcast or streaming online.
KMOX and the Cardinals Radio Network will carry 18 of the Spring games. 13 other games will be streamed online at cardinals.com and MLB’s At Bat app. Bbroadcasters Mike Shannon, John Rooney, and Rick Horton will handle the games for KMOX, while the voice on the Cardinals Radio Network will include Mike Claiborne, Tom Ackerman, Chris Hrabe and Kyle McClellan.
Several other Cardinals spring contests will be shown on opponents’ television networks and one will be carried by ESPN. For the full and still-growing list of Cardinals Grapefruit League games from all sources, check out The Cardinal Nation Blog.
25 non-roster players invited to spring camp
Top 10 Cardinals prospects Harrison Bader, Jack Flaherty and Sandy Alcantara highlight a list of 25 non-roster invitees to the major league spring camp.
The full list of invitees by position are:
Pitchers: Sandy Alcantara, Jack Flaherty, Kendry Flores, Austin Gomber, Corey Littrell, Josh Lucas, Trey Nielsen, Zach Phillips, Daniel Poncedeleon, Arturo Reyes, Robby Rowland, Jordan Schafer, and Ryan Sheriff.
Catchers: Eric Fryer, Andrew Knizner, Gabriel Lino, Jeremy Martinez, Dennis Ortega, and Alberto Rosario.
Infielders: Paul DeJong, Wilfredo Tovar, and Patrick Wisdom.
Outfielders: Harrison Bader, Todd Cunningham, and Chad Huffman.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on February 14. The first full workout is scheduled for February 18.
The Cardinal Nation analyzed the 25 NRIs and looked at several players passed over.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
The Cardinals signed pitcher Carlos Martinez to a five-year, $51 million contract extension, avoiding arbitration.
There is no injury news to report.
Following the signing of Carlos Martinez to a contract extension this past week, the Cardinals now have only one unsigned arbitration-eligible player, pitcher Michael Wacha. Barring a last minute settlement, Wacha and the Cardinals will go to a hearing prior to February 17 in Phoenix, AZ. The two are $425,000 apart on Wacha’s 2017 salary. If the hearing is conducted, arbitrators will decide between St. Louis’ $2.775 million offer and Wacha’s $3.2 million request.
Spring Training camp begins in mid-February, with pitchers and catchers scheduled to report on February 14, and position players on February 17. The first spring training game is scheduled for February 25 against the Miami Marlins.
The full Spring Training schedule can be found here.
World Baseball Classic
Several Cardinals players will be participating in the World Baseball Classic, which begins on March 6. The players are Seung Hwan Oh (Korea), Alex Reyes and Carlos Martinez (Dominican Republic), Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico) and Matt Carpenter (USA). All five players will miss some or most of Spring Training to take part in the Classic. Information about the tournament, including the schedule and pools, can be found at www.worldbaseballclassic.com .
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Have First Minor League Injury of the Spring
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