ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- When the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline passed and John Axford had not been moved, he thought he would remain with the Brewers for the rest of the season.
"I was expecting (a trade) around the All-Star break or the deadline," Axford said. "A lot of people around baseball thought it was going to happen. When it didn't, I went OK, I guess I'm going to be here for the last couple of months."
So imagine his surprise two nights before the Sept. 1 deadline. As he was finishing buttoning his shirt and about to get on the team bus following the last game of a series at Pittsburgh, Axford was called in to see manager Ron Roenicke, pitching coach Rick Kranitz and special assistant Craig Counsell.
"I knew," Axford said. "Before they said anything, I said, 'Really? It's happening now?'"
"Yes, Ax," he was told. "You've just been traded to the Cardinals."
His response: "The Cardinals, wow. I couldn't believe I was traded to a division rival. But going to a first-place team wa...