Former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa says he accepts responsibility for a breach of the Houston Astros' baseball operations database, but he maintains that the Astros were the team that first stole information.

Correa issued a statement on Twitter saying his actions came as the result of finding out that the Astros first stole the Cardinals' data.

"On December 21, 2011, a Houston Astros employee accessed proprietary data on a St. Louis Cardinals server. Later, I would learn -- through unlawful methods -- that Cardinals' data were used extensively from 2012 through 2014," Correa said in the statement, which he said would be his last while he serves a 46-month prison sentence.

"Houston Astros employees used the data to replicate and evaluate key algorithms and decision tools related to amateur and professional player evaluation. Many individuals throughout the Houston organization, including the General Manager and Assistant General Manager, were included in e-mail discussions about these efforts."

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Correa asked his family to release the statement once Major League Baseball had completed its investigation.

Rob Manfred on Monday placed Correa on the "permanently ineligible list" and penalized the Cardinals, who must pay the Astros $2 million and give them their top two picks in the 2017 draft (Nos. 56 and 75 overall).