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The Boston Globe

Sports

Peter Abraham | Analysis

On Aug. 1, here’s what Red Sox lineup should be

SEATTLE — There’s little chance the Red Sox will sell off their veterans at the trade deadline. The organization isn’t wired that way. But the simple truth is this: The midway point of the season comes Sunday and the Sox have the third-worst record in the American League.

Yes, there are a bunch of games left and players with track records usually get to their numbers. But watching veteran players in the final year of their contracts get to their numbers after it’s too late seems like a waste of everybody’s time.

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Let them go help contenders and let the Sox get on with building another World Series winner. Watching this bunch try to finish third accomplishes nothing in the long term.

This should be the roster come Aug. 1:

Lineup:
Brock Holt RF
Mookie Betts LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Christian Vazquez C

Rotation: Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa.

Bench: David Ross, Daniel Nava, Jonathan Herrera, and Shane Victorino.

Bullpen: Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront, Burke Badenhop, Edward Mujica, and some other guys.

Trade the rest if you can, or at least as many as you can. Thanks and best wishes to Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Stephen Drew, Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, and Jonny Gomes.

RELATED: Clay Buchholz ready to begin again

The Red Sox havemultiple trade candidatesand can get some prospects in return. Preferably outfielders.

Victorino is well worth keeping around because he’s a valuable player and can be again. His contract also would be almost impossible to trade. So have him work on getting healthy. Let him play 3-4 days a week in right field and center and move Holt around the diamond. He can fill in at second, third, shortstop, right field, center field, and left field.

Victorino played 10 games in spring training. Then he played 21 games in the regular season before getting another right hamstring strain. Now he has a bad back and has played only five minor league games (and gone 0 for 13) without going nine innings on his rehab assignment. The Sox seem bent on activating him on Friday and it’s madness. Shut him down until he’s fully healthy.

The Sox would accomplish more with this lineup then they would with the one they have. They can finally decide if Bogaerts can play shortstop. They can finally decide if Middlebrooks is a major league player. They can see what Betts is capable of. They can determine if Tazawa has the moxie to close. They can bring up Vazquez and see what he’s capable of.

Having Vazquez around would, if nothing else, make the starters better. Signing Pierzynski for one year was meant to be a bridge to the young catchers. It’s time to cross that bridge.

Ben Cherington and John Farrell spent a lot of time after the 2012 season talking about building the next great Red Sox team and they did just that. Now it’s time to do it again. Because what we’re seeing now isn’t it.

More coverage:

 On Baseball: Clay Buchholz ready to begin again

Mariners beat Jake Peavy, Red Sox

 Notebook: Stephen Drew convinced he’ll start hitting

Peter Abraham can be reached atpabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@peteabe

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