MLB trade targets to be wary of

Ervin Santana has benefitted from terrific defense behind him in Kansas City. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With the expansion of the MLB playoffs, fewer teams are ready to commit to be sellers by the end of July. Across both leagues, only nine teams are more than 10 games out of the second wild-card spot, and a few of those teams -- like the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets -- remain on the outskirts of their divisional races. With the trade deadline less than a week away, the buyers will handily outnumber the sellers.

The lack of available options can make it easy for teams to convince themselves that the players they can trade for will solve more problems than their production actually suggests. As a service to those desperate teams, here are five players who could be traded that teams should be wary of.

Ervin Santana, SP, Kansas City Royals

The conventional wisdom has been that Santana and rotation-mate James Shields have been terribly unlucky this season. The Royals have scored just 389 runs this season, fifth-fewest in baseball, and Santana and Shields have borne the brunt of that offensive anemia. Santana has received only 3.60 runs of support per start, 21st-fewest in baseball, while Shields has received only 4.05 runs of support per start (38th-fewest). That lack of run support has a lot to do with their respective 6-6 and 4-7 records.