Trade leaks: Cubs look at security system after Astros hacked

Trade leaks: Cubs look at security system after Astros hacked
July 2, 2014, 10:00 pm
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BOSTON – The Cubs are looking at ways to upgrade their security system after the Astros got hacked and saw “Ground Control” exposed.

Houston officials are working with the FBI and Major League Baseball security after internal information was shared anonymously on Deadspin, the influential sports website, published the short-form notes on trade talks, giving fans and the media a look behind the curtain.

“It’s sort of a scary thing that can probably happen to all 30 teams,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Wednesday at Fenway Park. “They’ve got a good IT department. They’ve got a good database and someone kind of targeted them and decided they were going to break in.”

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It’s embarrassing for a tech-savvy front office that granted Sports Illustrated access and made last week’s cover as “YOUR 2017 WORLD SERIES CHAMPS.” The Astros lost 218 games across the last two seasons and are back in last place in the American League West.

Houston GM Jeff Luhnow graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, got his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and worked at McKinsey & Company before helping the Cardinals in their drafting/development process.

One of Luhnow’s signature hires for Houston’s radical rebuild is Sig Mejdal, who once worked as a NASA researcher and carries this title: “Director of Decision Sciences.”

The Cubs are again going to be aggressive sellers this summer. But unless they start writing everything down on yellow legal pads, there will be cybersecurity risks while exploring deals for Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and any other short-term asset they’re looking to flip by July 31.

“It is scary for all of us,” Hoyer said. “I’m sure you have 29 other teams right now talking to IT departments about making sure that doesn’t happen. Because everyone keeps trade notes and discussion notes.”

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The leaked information includes details on the run-up to the Bud Norris deadline deal with the Orioles last July. The biggest news came out of an offseason entry marked Nov. 15. Luhnow apparently spoke with Marlins GM Dan Jennings about Giancarlo Stanton and which prospects it would take to acquire the Miami slugger:

“(Luhnow) talked to (Jennings) and said we had interest in Stanton. DJ said he doesn’t think he’ll trade Stanton and the only deal he could think of from us that would work would be (George) Springer and (Carlos) Correa. JL said that would not work. JL posited a deal around (Jarred) Cosart and (Delino) Deshields."

“I read through Houston’s stuff,” Hoyer said. “I think their stuff was really professionally handled. They were the unlucky one of 30 that had it happen to them.

“In the end, I think they were probably embarrassed that it got out. But in a lot of ways, I don’t think anyone faults them. It’s just everyone in this world is probably somewhat vulnerable.”