Ryan says Astros' leaked trade talks won't change the way he operates
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MINNEAPOLIS - On Monday it came to light that about 10 months' worth of trade dialogue between the Houston Astros and other teams was posted anonymously on the website, Anonbin, after somebody apparently hacked Houston's internal database, "Ground Control."
No, it's not Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks, and it probably is not a matter of national security for the United States (although the FBI reportedly is on the case). It is real, however, and it's a pity for the Astros front office and their contemporaries involved in trade discussion last season.
Twins GM Terry Ryan said he doesn't foresee this breach changing the way he does business. He said he's already conservative.
"That's out of my area as far as passwords, but it makes you wonder," Ryan said Monday during his pregame media access. "You know, there's some people's feelings that are going to be hurt a little bit today after they read their name. That's not good."
At the time of this writing, Ryan's name was not included in the leaked information.
"I've certainly talked to the Houston Astros about certain things but I guess I went unscathed in this one," Ryan said. "We weren't in the mode--this time last year--of buying. In fact, we were in the Houston Astros' mode if I'm not mistaken."
The Astros had fallen out of contention and were heavily shopping pitcher Bud Norris, who had a year and a half left on his contract at the time the Astros traded him to the Baltimore Orioles.
Ryan said texting has become much more prevalent in trade talks. That's not entirely surprising, given the ubiquity of cell phones and the busy travel schedule some general managers maintain.
Deadspin recounted the leak with a chronological list of certain trade talks involving Norris, prospects, and various players in the Majors and minors around the league. That kind of a database can help keep people within the same organization abreast of the latest talks and on the same page about ongoing discussions with other clubs.
Ryan said that he tries to keep the pertinent people in the Twins organization informed, "especially if you get serious because you want as much information as you can possibly gather."
"Yeah, I do that. Sure," Ryan said. "It's dangerous when you get too many people involved that really don't have any vested interest exactly in the outcomes. But there are people that should be that are involved."
"There's nothing worse than having people out there telling others what you're doing. That doesn't do any good for anybody--except for you guys," playfully motioning at the gathered media. "That certainly isn't advantageous for what I'm trying to do.
"I've got a handful of guys that I would have to consult with for sure: the Major League staff here; the minor league people; the number of scouts that have recently seen the players that we're talking about."
The guess here is that it will not have extended consequences across Major League baseball.
Most MLB folks I spoke with today re: Houston leaked documents felt bad for the Astros. Could've happened to most teams, they believe.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 1, 2014
The Astros released a statement, which is posted on Deadspin, acknowledging the proprietary information had been "illegally obtained" and called it "unfortunate and extremely disappointing." The release also questioned the veracity of some of the information.
There is nothing seedy about the information; it's just that it appears to outline a process that previously was kept secret, in part, because it treats players like nothing more than commodities. Of course, that's a reality of modern sports. But it may be disconcerting to a player to know his name is so casually discussed in routine trade discourse.
So while the nation's security is not threatened and it may not lead to policy change across Major League Baseball, it's kind of a bummer for Houston and any teams outlined in the leaked documents.