Mr. Von der Ahe will leave for the East Sunday night, when some of the deals lately hinted at in the Globe-Democrat will be perfected. Several sensations are promised in the near future.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 4, 1888
I've mentioned this before but it does seem that the fire sale did not come as a surprise. It's possible that these moves were in the works as early as late August 1888.