Every relationship between an MLB player and team must end eventually. Sometimes it ends with a sentimental retirement send-off. Often, however, it ends with a trade.
With the July 31 trade deadline approaching, let's examine a half-dozen baseball divorces that should happen this summer.
Whether it's a talented youngster who's blocked on the depth chart or a veteran whose value will decrease or disappear after this July, these six players and their respective clubs should change their relationship statuses posthaste.
Clint Frazier and the New York Yankees
Clint Frazier began to deliver on his considerable promise for the New York Yankees in 2019. In 53 games, the 24-year-old outfielder hit .283 with 11 home runs and an .843 OPS.
On June 16, however, the Yankees demoted Frazier to Triple-A after they acquired veteran slugger Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners. With Encarnacion in the fold and Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge having recently returned from injuries, the Yankees have no room in the outfield for Frazier at the moment.
"It's a tough pill to swallow," Frazier told reporters. "It's never fun, especially with how much I felt like I've contributed to the team this year."
The Yankees could use pitching, and any number of teams could use a toolsy outfielder on the doorstep of his prime. Expect the Frazier rumors to heat up quickly and for him to shed the pinstripes for a different uniform soon.
Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians
It's time for the Cleveland Indians to trade Trevor Bauer. Just ask Trevor Bauer.
"In 2020, when my salary raises up to like the $20 million range [via arbitration], then [my] surplus value isn't nearly as much," Bauer said in November 2018 on MLB Network's Hot Stove. "And they're most likely not going to be able to sign me in free agency, even on one-year deals. So it would make sense to trade me and get some prospects in return."
OK, so he said 2020, his final year of arbitration. Really, though, it makes more sense for the Tribe to trade him this summer. That extra half-season of control means his value will be greater to prospective buyers looking for more than a rental.
Sure, the Indians are in the playoff hunt at 42-35 entering play Monday. But they're eight games behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central and need to upgrade an offense that ranks 22nd in baseball with a .721 OPS.
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand suggested the Indians should target Frazier, whom they drafted fifth overall in 2013 and then traded to New York in 2016.
It wouldn't be the first time someone (in this case, the Indians) got divorced and later got back together with their ex.
Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks
Zack Greinke is owed around $90 million through 2021. He's 35 years old. On the other hand, he's enjoying a typically strong season with a 2.91 ERA in 102 innings.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, meanwhile, are hanging around .500 and remain on the fringe of the National League wild-card scramble.
If ever there was a moment to unload Greinke, it's now.
Sure, the D-backs could technically sneak into the postseason. And maybe Greinke will age like a fine wine into his late 30s. But Arizona will likely miss the playoffs, and Greinke might become a declining albatross over the next two seasons.