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Storylines: St. Louis Cardinals penalized by MLB for data breach of Houston Astros

The MLB offices fined and penalized the Cardinals for their data breach of the Astros, plus all the other news and notes from around the league on Monday...

Top Storyline:

- MLB has concluded its investigation into the St. Louis Cardinals hacking scandal against the Houston Astros.  The Cardinals have been fined their top two draft picks of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft and $2MM which will be paid to the Astros as compensation per MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.  The Cardinals allegedly accessed the Astros private notes via illegal procedures.  The guilty culprit was determined to be former Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa.  Correa has already been fired and sent to prison for his role in the data breach.  The Cardinals already forfeited their first-round selection by signing free agent Dexter Fowler, whom had a qualifying offer attached to him so the Cardinals will lose picks No. 56 and No. 75 and the $2MM will be coming out of their draft bonus pool, thus giving them one of the lowest signing pools in MLB for 2017.  The Astros should benefit from the extra $2MM added to their draft bonus pool as they already had approximately $6MM going into the 2017 draft and now will have over $8MM to spend on their draft bonus pool for the 2017 draft, which may increase their odds of signing more picks given their extra cash.

Other Storylines:

- The Minnesota Twins are reportedly interested in beefing up their bullpen prior to Opening Day and are showing interest in relievers Joe Blanton and Boone Logan per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  Both relievers are representing the top options left on the relief free agent market and are both expected to command multi-year deals.

- The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly held trade talks with the Texas Rangers surrounding infielder Jurickson Profar per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.  No momentum has occurred in these talks but with the Rays having an opening at second base now that Logan Forsythe is gone, it is certainly something to keep an eye down the road.

- Second baseman Chase Utley reportedly has several offers in hand and is expected to make a decision soon on his next destination per Jon Heyman of FanRag.  The veteran slashed .252/.319/.396 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs for the Dodgers last season.  His return to the Dodgers became questionable when they traded for Forsythe to be their everyday second baseman.


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