While getting rid of stars, the Phillies held on to Cliff Lee and Blanton. After jettisoning Ramirez, Sanchez and Omar Infante as the deadline approached, the Miami Marlins traded pitcher Edward Mujica to St. Louis for infielder and sent former All-Star first baseman Gaby Sanchez and right-hander Kyle Kaminska to Pittsburgh for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a 2013 draft pick.
Washington has emerged with young talents Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper and leads the NL East as the Nationals try to bring postseason play to the capital for the first time since 1933.
“Our division has undergone a real sort of metamorphosis,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.
Houston and the nearly as awful Cubs also shed salaries. Jed Lowrie at $1.15 million is now the highest-paid player on the Astros, who started the season with a payroll of nearly $61 million.
Chicago, in its first season under new baseball head Theo Epstein, also dealt pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta on Monday.
NL Central-leading Cincinnati, hopeful of just its second postseason appearance since 1995, got Broxton from Kansas City _ the team with the worst record in the AL.
“I’m going somewhere where I’m picking up 20-25 games,” Broxton said, noting the standings. “I enjoyed my time here, but this is part of baseball. So go over there and, hopefully we can win a division over there.”
In other deals:
_ Boston sent right-hander Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik to Arizona for left-hander Craig Breslow and dealt utilityman Lars Anderson to Cleveland for right-hander Steven Wright.
_ The Yankees traded right-hander Chad Qualls to Pittsburgh for infielder Casey McGehee, a move that followed injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
AP Sports Writers Joe Kay, Stephen Hawkins, Rob Maaddi and Andrew Seligman, and AP freelance writers Alan Eskew, Dan Feldman and John Henry contributed to this report.