Every star in the known universe burns out eventually. The same is true in Major League Baseball, where even the greatest players ultimately fade away.

It's tough for fanbases and, often, even tougher for the players in question. But it's reality all the same.

Here's a look at one player on each MLB team whose days as a star are seemingly over for good based on age, injury history and recent production trends. In some cases, we had to stretch the definition of "star." In others, we were forced to call out guys with Hall of Fame resumes who can no longer live up to their elite pedigree. 

In all cases, it's a painful pill to swallow.

Arizona Diamondbacks: OF Adam Jones

A five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, Adam Jones has mostly been a disappointment with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sure, the one-year, $3 million deal he signed with the D-backs in March didn't break the bank, but his .269/.319/.434 slash line and minus-1defensive runs saved in right field don't conjure memories of the all-around player he once was.

Add the fact that he turned 34 on Aug. 1, and you've got all the makings of a once-excellent performer in precipitous decline.

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MLB

Each MLB Team's Player Whose Days as a Star Are over for Good

JACOB SHAFERSEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Every star in the known universe burns out eventually. The same is true in Major League Baseball, where even the greatest players ultimately fade away.

It's tough for fanbases and, often, even tougher for the players in question. But it's reality all the same.

Here's a look at one player on each MLB team whose days as a star are seemingly over for good based on age, injury history and recent production trends. In some cases, we had to stretch the definition of "star." In others, we were forced to call out guys with Hall of Fame resumes who can no longer live up to their elite pedigree. 

In all cases, it's a painful pill to swallow.

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Arizona Diamondbacks: OF Adam Jones

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Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

A five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, Adam Jones has mostly been a disappointment with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sure, the one-year, $3 million deal he signed with the D-backs in March didn't break the bank, but his .269/.319/.434 slash line and minus-1defensive runs saved in right field don't conjure memories of the all-around player he once was.

Add the fact that he turned 34 on Aug. 1, and you've got all the makings of a once-excellent performer in precipitous decline.

Atlanta Braves: RHP Mark Melancon

The Atlanta Braves acquired reliever Mark Melancon from the San Francisco Giants prior to the July 31 trade deadline in the hopes the veteran right-hander would bolster their relief corps heading into the postseason.

In 12.2 innings with Atlanta, Melancon has surrendered 15 hits and seven earned runs, "good" for a 4.97 ERA. 

Yes, Melancon has thrown 2.1 straight scoreless innings in his last three appearances. He may well have utility for Atlanta.

But they're paying the remainder of his $14 million salary for this season and another $14 million next season for a 34-year-old whose recent performance with both the Braves and Giants has been uneven, to say the least. He posted a 4.50 ERA in 2017 and better (but still not great) 3.23 in 2018 while recording a combined 14 saves.

Melancon is a former top-tier closer and three-time All-Star who finished eighth in NL Cy Young voting in 2015. Whatever he has left in the tank, it's highly unlikely he'll attain anything close to that again.

Baltimore Orioles: 1B Chris Davis

Chris Davis has fallen so far and so hard, it's easy to forget he was a fearsome slugger not so long ago. 

In 2013, Davis clubbed 53 home runs and finished third in American League MVP voting. In 2015, he hit 47 homers and picked up down-ballot MVP votes.

The following season, he swatted 38 homers but led the Junior Circuit with 219 strikeouts and hit just .221. Then, the wheels came off.

This year, Davis is slashing .175/.266/.311 with 10 home runs. The rebuilding Orioles are paying him $23 million and will cough up the same sum every year through 2022. Davis is 33 years old.

Writing, meet wall.

Boston Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello led MLB with 22 wins in 2016, posted a 3.15 ERA in 223 innings and won the AL Cy Young Award for his troubles. 

Since then, the right-handed sinkerballer has failed to post a sub-4.00 ERA for the Boston Red Sox. This season, his ERA sits at 5.63, and he's paced the AL with 96 earned runs allowed.

The 30-year-old is earning more than $21 million in 2019 but will be a free agent this offseason. Needless to say, he'll have to drastically adjust his contract expectations to match his ongoing underperformance. 

Chicago Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish pitched just 40 innings in his first season with the Chicago Cubs in 2018. He posted a 4.95 ERA and generally did not look like the four-time All-Star the Cubs signed to a six-year, $126 million deal.

This year, Darvish's ERA sits at 4.25. He's shown flashes of his old dominance, including in his most recent start on Aug. 27 against the New York Mets (8 IP, 1 ER, 7 SO), but has also given up an NL-leading 31 home runs and recently missed a start with forearm tightness. 

He turned 33 on Aug. 16, and while he might rebound in time to help the Cubbies' playoff push, his window as a legitimate Cy Young contender worthy of nine figures appears to be closed.

Chicago White Sox: RHP Kelvin Herrera

Kelvin Herrera is a two-time All-Star and was a key piece of the Kansas City Royals bullpen when they won a pennant in 2014 and a World Series title in 2015.

He's making $8.5 million this season with the rebuilding Chicago White Sox and is owed another $8.5 million next season with a $1 million buyout for 2021.

For that coin, he's posted a 6.96 ERA and given up 57 hits in 42.2 innings. That's...not great.

The ChiSox are stuck with the 29-year-old unless they want to cut him loose and eat the money, which they might be forced to do if he continues on his current trajectory.

Cincinnati Reds: 1B Joey Votto

Sorry, Cincinnati Reds fans. It has to be said: Joey Votto isn't the player he used to be.

The six-time All-Star and 2010 NL MVP has been the franchise backbone for a decade. As recently as 2017, he hit 36 home runs and finished second in NL MVP voting.

Yet, he'll turn 36 on Sept. 10. He's hitting .262 with a career-low .767 OPS, and he's been battling back issues.

Votto is too talented to write off completely. But the trends are not positive for a player moving toward 40 whose time as an on-base machine and perennial MVP contender appear to be in the rear-view mirror.

Cleveland Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis

A two-time All-Star who picked up down-ballot MVP votes as recently as 2015, Jason Kipnis has largely been a role player at best for the Cleveland Indians in 2019.

Through 112 games, Kipnis is slashing a modest .245/.306/.412 and is battling wrist tendinitis. This, after he hit just .230 in 2018.

The Indians would surely love Kipnis to get healthy and turn back the clock as they battle for an AL postseason berth, but the chances of the 32-year-old being a major stretch-run contributor are slim to none.

Colorado Rockies: RHP Wade Davis

Wade Davis was an All-Star as recently as 2017 and finished sixth in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2015. He was considered an elite closer when the Colorado Rockies signed him to a three-year, $52 million deal in December 2017.

After posting a 4.13 ERA and nailing down 43 saves in 2018, the excrement has hit the fan for Davis in 2019.

In 48 appearances, he sports an ugly 7.02 ERA and was removed from the closer role on Aug. 2. 

Granted, he's been chewed up by Coors Field. He owns a 9.62 ERA at home compared to a 3.50 mark on the road. Still, results are results, and they haven't been there for Davis, who turns 34 on Sept. 7.

Detroit Tigers: 1B/DH Miguel Cabrera

Eventually, Miguel Cabrera will have a bust in Cooperstown. And Detroit Tigers fans will always have the memories of his days as one of the game's most ferocious sluggers. Sadly, those days are over.

Cabrera hasn't been awful. He's hitting .285 with a .347 on-base percentage through 121 games. But his 10 home runs and .745 OPS make him a shadow of the player who made 11 All-Star teams and won a pair of AL MVP trophies.

As a veteran leader on a rebuilding team, he has value. Whether he's worth a fraction of the $30 million-plus the Tigers will pay him annually at least through 2023 is another matter.

Houston Astros: OF Josh Reddick

The Houston Astros are cruising to another AL West title behind a stacked starting rotation, solid bullpen and a deep, balanced lineup.

One guy who's only sort of joined the party? Right fielder Josh Reddick.

Through 124 games, Reddick is slashing .264/.308/.380. The defense that won him a Gold Glove in 2012 has also diminished, as evidenced by his modest 0.4 ultimate zone rating. (For contrast, that figure was 9.1 in 2012.)

With top prospect Kyle Tucker now on the big league roster, it's worth wondering how much longer Reddick will serve as an everyday player.

Kansas City Royals: OF Alex Gordon

On the surface, Alex Gordon's .264/.340/.401 slash line doesn't look that bad. Yes, he's only hit 12 home runs, a low total for a corner outfielder, but his offense hasn't been atrocious.

The trouble is, Gordon's value has always come largely from his defense, as the six Gold Gloves he's won in left field can attest.

This season, however, he's posted minus-1 defensive runs saved even as he earns $20 million from the rebuilding Kansas City Royals.

Minus the elite leather, the 35-year-old is simply a light-hitting, vastly overpaid albatross.

Los Angeles Angels: 1B/DH Albert Pujols

Like Cabrera, Albert Pujols is a surefire Hall of Famer. Ten All-Star selections and three NL MVP Awards speak for themselves. 

Also like Cabrera, he's a shell of his former self.

Yes, he's swatted 21 homers for the Los Angeles Angels this year. But his ho-hum .253/.314/.451 slash line puts him light years away from the glory days.