Just to be clear, I don't think what players have to say about their GM's performance is particularly important, but these comments from Jason Grilli are likely to attract some attention, so let's have at it.

"Maybe some of it’s the economics here," Grilli said. "Players know the situation. To get a top-tier bat … maybe the expectations were a little higher on our end. That’s not a knock against who we got. It’s just when you’re winning, it’s like, ‘Dude, do you want to go for the gusto here? Do you want to go for the jugular?’ … Pull the trigger. Do you want to win? Do you want to change?

"As a player, it’s like, ‘Come on. Let’s see. Give us the pieces.’ Last year, the names being thrown around were (Hunter) Pence, (Shane) Victorino, Upton. … If anybody’s going to do it, you’d think a team that hasn’t won and is in first place would be the first to do it. Let’s not wait."

Elsewhere in the piece, Andrew McCutchen says the trades were irrelevant and that the Pirates' players simply "didn't do the job." Which seems to pretty clearly be true if you look at the evidence. Let's just look at the potential trade acquisitions Grilli mentions. Pence produced 0.5 wins above replacement down the stretch with the Giants. Victorino produced 1.1 wins with the Dodgers. Upton produced 1.4 wins after the trade deadline.

Wandy Rodriguez produced 0.7 wins for the Pirates, more than Pence and less than a win less than Victorino and Upton. Why is it that, whenever we hear this argument that the Pirates didn't do enough at the trade deadline, we never hear about Wandy Rodriguez? He's relatively famous, the Bucs took on salary to acquire him, and he pitched fairly well.