Since returning from the All-Star break the Pirates have gone 3-3 dropping the series with the Milwaukee Brewers and following that up with a come from behind win to claim the series with the Colorado Rockies.

The one thing clear to me in all 6 of these games, win or lose, is that the Pirates mean business. They aren't going to just lay down and give up the second half of this season. They are going to give the rest of the National League a run for their money.  Will they win it all, maybe but regardless of whether they make it to the World Series or not the Pirates losing ways are over.

The heart and the desire to win show up with this team every single day (maybe in the form of Zoltan?) and its starting to show in the form of wins. What will it take to keep this up and finish strong? Should the Pirates trade some of their up and coming talent to pick up a veteran player before the trade deadline or should they let the guys they have earn their way into the post season.

There is no doubt in my mind the Pirates need to make some deals but I will say immediately that Starling Marte, Jameson Taillon, and Gerrit Cole should NOT be included in any deal they try to make. Taking those three players off the market might lessen the Pirates ability to pick up the guys they are really looking at. 

The big talk in Pittsburgh currently seems to be Justin Upton, but I am not 100% convinced he is the savior that some think he is (although I am not far from being convinced). He is currently slumping and the Pirates would probably have to over pay to get him. He does historically have an upside, but his current performance is not what the Pirates need. Then again the atmosphere in Pittsburgh could have the same effect on him that it has had on AJ Burnett. If the Pirates don't have to give up the entire farm then it might not be such a bad acquisition. Plus he is still young and could be a cornerstone for years to come.

Justin Upton could find himself in a Pirates uniform

Some other names (slightly far fetched) that I would love to see in the Bucco uniform are those of Cole Hamels, Zach Greinke, and Ryan Dempster. Pirates pitching has been a bright spot for most of the season but adding one of these guys to the rotation the Pirates already have would just give them more depth and experience to make a deep playoff run. I don't see any of these three guys landing in Pittsburgh, but one can hope can't they?