As expected, Mark McGwire was traded. Unexpectedly, Albert Belle was discussed.
It was a busy day in baseball right up until the midnight EDT trading deadline Thursday. The St. Louis Cardinals made a blockbuster move by getting McGwire, the Seattle Mariners bolstered their bullpen, the Cleveland Indians enriched their rotation and the San Francisco Giants pumped up their entire pitching staff.
There were seven deals in all, with Heathcliff Slocumb, Jeff Juden, Wilson Alvarez and Jose Cruz Jr. among those on the go.
And there might be plenty of swaps ahead in August.
Trades are allowed the rest of the regular season, but players must now pass through waivers, making some deals tricky to complete.
Even so, maybe that means Belle will find a new address. The Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees talked Thursday about the $55 million slugger.
"The Yankees approached us and asked about Albert Belle," White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said. "And we said, `No, thank you."'
Reports in New York, meanwhile, indicated that it was the White Sox who called the Yankees. Whatever, there was no deal.
But with Belle carrying such a high price tag, it's not likely that any team would claim him if the White Sox put him on waivers, meaning a trade is possible.
Without a doubt, a lot of players are available.
Rickey Henderson of San Diego could be among them. Pitchers Terry Mulholland, Mel Rojas and Turk Wendell of the Chicago Cubs can be had. Same goes for starters Dave Burba and Pete Schourek of Cincinnati.
The last-place Philadelphia Phillies heard from several teams Thursday about closer Ricky Bottalico and second baseman Mickey Morandini.
Several teams, however, liked what they heard. A quick recap of Thursday's trades, a couple of them announced after midnight:
Also, the Texas Rangers signed six-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who had been eligible for free agency, to a five-year contract extension worth $42 million.