The Houston Astros admitted Monday that an internal database of trade conversations had been illegally obtained, but claimed some of the information had been exaggerated or completely made up. The information, a shorthand accounting of the status of the many discussions they were having with teams last season dubbed "Ground Control," appeared Monday afternoon at Deadspin. Now, after what was reportedly a day of trying to mend fences and reestablish trust with the 29 other major league teams, the Astros have responded to the story. Via MLB.com:
"Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros' servers and in Astros' applications had been illegally obtained. Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI. Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to the determine the party, or parties, responsible. This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.
"It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information. While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated."
We will probably never know which of the many potential deals discussed in the Astros' version of the Watergate tapes (What did Jeff Luhnow know and when did he know it?) are real and which are bogus, which means that the delicious ideas such as the Rockies making a big pitch for Jose Abreu (either $64 million or $64, depending on how you feel like reading it) or whether Giancarlo Stanton could have been an Astro if the price was right will forever straddle the line between fact and fiction.
Perhaps we'll get some clarification if and when the FBI catches whoever hacked the Astros, but until then, you can sort through the archives and dream on all the Ted Williams-for-Joe DiMaggio trial balloons that went up and never came back down. It's fun, but assuming the Astros are leveling with us here, it may not be as insightful a look into the way baseball trade talks work as it first appeared.