Cards expect word from MLB on breach by spring

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals first learned almost two years ago they were under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for unauthorized access of the Astros' database, and the organization expects to learn what punishment Major League Baseball will hand down before the start of Spring Training.

That was the assessment provided on Monday by Cardinals principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr., who has been in communication with the MLB Commissioner's Office about its ongoing investigation.

"I think the goal is for the Commissioner to get things completed by late January, hopefully early February at the latest," DeWitt said. "They've done a lot of investigative work and have reviewed everything that occurred in the federal procedures. At this point, I think they're in pretty good shape with what's going to get them to make a decision."

MLB had to wait until after federal authorities completed their case before receiving information from that investigation to use in its own proceedings. Former Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa was sentenced to 46 months in prison and fined $279,038 last summer for accessing the Astros' computer database multiple times while working in the Cardinals' front office.

The Cardinals already completed their own internal investigation on the matter and determined that Correa acted alone.

"There's nothing further we plan to do internally," DeWitt said. "We'll react to what the Commissioner says and whatever punishment he imposes."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.