With the July 31 trade deadline looming, less than two weeks remain for teams looking to make a non-waiver deal.

The deadline represents an integral period of time for both contending and rebuilding organizations. Contenders, like the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, must decide if this year is theirs and sacrifice a bit of the future to improve the present.

On the flip side, a team like the New York Mets would have to juggle an already-livid fanbase if they entertained trading homegrown closer Bobby Parnell, for instance. While a big return for Parnell would help fill gaping voids for 2014 and beyond, it’s never a popular decision to throw in the towel—especially in New York.

Regardless of a team’s direction, the strategy must be a resolute one: Failure simply isn’t an option.

Below are five MLB teams that can’t afford to fail at the trade deadline this year.

All statistics sourced (through July 18, 2013) from Baseball-Reference.com.

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