President Von der Ahe returned home from the League meeting highly elated over the results of his trip. He thinks that [Lou] Bierbauer and [Bill] Hutchinson will prove of great aid to the team.
In speaking of the [Duke] Esper case Chris said: "I never waived claim to Esper, but instead went after him the minute I heard of his release. The claims of a National League club are always first respected in a case of this kind. Mark my words, Esper will play with the St. Louis team this year or not play at all. I paid Pittsburg $1500 for Bierbauer, and I think that he will be worth that much to me. He is a fine fielder, and while only a fair sticker, has always been regarded as batting opportunely. Bierbauer will be placed on second base, with Hartman on third and Cross at short. Dowd, Sullivan and Turner will constitute the outfield. Either Connor or Douglass will cover first base, and the battery men are plenty strong enough."
-Sporting Life, March 20, 1897
So the big acquisitions of the off-season were Bierbauer, Hutchinson, and Esper. Von der Ahe wasn't exactly putting together the '27 Yankees.