The Atlanta Braves are sinking fast in the NL East and Thursday's three-team, 13-player trade all but raised the white flag on their chances of contending for a wild card.
First baseman Freddie Freeman conceded that the atmosphere in the clubhouse is "kind of down" after the Braves shipped out one starter (Alex Wood) and a pair of relievers (Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan) in the deal involving the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins.
"You build relationships and friendships," Freeman told MLB.com. "It's always tough to see them leave. You wish them the best over there. But this is obviously tough from a personal standpoint."
The blockbuster trade came six days after reeling Atlanta sent infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the New York Mets. The Braves have dropped four in a row and seven of eight overall, scoring a total of 11 runs in that span.
"I've only one time been in a position where you didn't have any chance (for a playoff berth), and it stinks," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "But you have to do what you can and go about it the right way."
Third baseman Chris Johnson refused to buy into the theory that the recent turn of events makes it hard for a player to do his job.
"I don't think it's tough to play ever," Johnson said. "If it's tough for you to play up here any day, you shouldn't be playing here."