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Red Sox vs. Blue Jays: Last chance to see

In case this is goodbye, Jon Lester...

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Jared Wickerham

Take a good long look at these Boston Red Sox. The ones on the field, in the dugout, all around. Come the start of their series against the Yankees on August 1st, smart money says some of them will be gone.

We're already down Jake Peavy, but we all know the Red Sox aren't done dealing just yet. There were murmurs that they were particularly active on the phones these past few days, even after Peavy's departure, trying to line up homes for the assets they can't rely on to be here in 2015.

That might just mean the departure of a couple pen arms and bench bats. There's no doubt that things wouldn't feel quite the same without Koji Uehara ready to dole out high fives after every win, however rare. But at the end of the day he's been here for less than two years. and it wouldn't be that much of a shock to see his legacy with the Red Sox capped at being one of the best parts of a great season.

Andrew Miller? He's been here longer, and it almost feels like we're only just getting to know him. Usually when players come in that raw and uncertain it's as a rookie prospect. Usually when they finally find their place in the bullpen two years later we can look forward to season after season with them taking the seventh or eighth inning. But Miller was a work in progress, dropped by the Marlins and picked up in media res by the Red Sox. We've certainly gotten the better half of it, but split as his story has been, the bullpen won't exactly feel wrong without him there.

Jonny Gomes? I love the lefty-masher for his army helmet antics and claims of being a 20-win player, but that's somehow felt like a relationship destined to end since it began. Not acrimoniously, mind, just naturally. Ever the nomad, Gomes' stay here was set for two years with another team waiting at the end.

Let's not beat around the bush here. We all know who I'm really talking about. This may be the last time we see Jon Lester in a Red Sox uniform. And I don't know how to feel about that. I certainly don't feel good. There's some part of me which knows that, if the Red Sox really don't intend to offer him a market-price contract, they almost have to trade him. There's some part of me which knows that it's a mistake to let him go, and another which knows he'll sign again even if traded with the sort of desperate certainty only those in denial can conjure up.

What it really comes down to is that I just can't picture it. With Nomar and Manny it happened suddenly in the midst of winning seasons where I didn't really believe they could be traded until they were. With Youkilis and Beckett it came when each player was underperforming and hurting the team (the resulting emotions conjured up for the two were very different, mind). With Jacoby Ellsbury we all saw it coming ever since that 2010 injury saga and all the bad blood it conjured up.

With Jon Lester? He's at the top of his game. He should be here next week, next month, and next year. He should be taking the mound in the first game of our next playoff series, and managing to elevate his game in the biggest situation once more. We should be spending July arguing over the semantics of what constitutes an ace or, better yet, not as he continues to earn the title without question as he has this season.

Instead we're spending this last week of the month weighing the merits of various prospects and wondering who is going to fill in for Lester not just next week, but next year, and for many years to come. So take a good look while you can, because the sight might not be there to see for much longer.

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. You can join in now using this link and, if Lester is still around come Wednesday, back him for what might be the last time as a member of the Red Sox.