The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. federal prosecutors are investigating the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team for hacking into the computers of the Houston Astros to steal closely guarded information about player personnel, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Compromised information includes internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports, the Times reported, citing law enforcement officials.
There is evidence that officials of the Cardinals, who won the 2006 and 2011 World Series, and are one of the sport's top franchises, broke into a network of special databases, the report said.
"Major League Baseball has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros' baseball operations database," MLB said in a statement. "Once the investigative process has been completed by federal law enforcement officials, we will evaluate the next steps and will make decisions promptly."
The Cardinals, who own a league-best 42-21 record this season, have won the World Series 11 times, second only to the New York Yankees. They have reached "the Fall Classic" 19 times, most recently in 2013 when they lost to the Boston Red Sox.
"The St. Louis Cardinals are aware of the investigation into the security breach of the Houston Astros' database," the Cardinals said in a statement. "The team has fully cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so."
"Given that this is an ongoing federal investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further," it said.
There was no word on which Cardinals employees were the focus of the investigation or whether the team's highest-ranking officials were aware of the hacking or authorized it.
The Houston office of the FBI would neither confirm nor deny an investigation of the Cardinals, but said: "The FBI aggressively investigates all potential threats to public and private sector systems."