Sports Illustrated Breaks Out Red Pen, Grades Boston Red Sox’s Offseason

Ben CheringtonAccording to Sports Illustrated, the Boston Red Sox still are in good shape despite the club not making any major moves this offseason.

Sports Illustrated graded each Major League Baseball team’s offseason leading up to spring training, and the Red Sox received a healthy “B.” Only the New York Yankees (B+) received a higher grade in the American League East.

The Red Sox lost Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and perhaps even Stephen Drew without making any huge splashes. Boston added reliever Edward Mujica, catcher A.J. Pierzynski, outfielder Grady Sizemore and infielder Jonathan Herrera, among others, but the team’s offseason has been relatively quiet, especially in comparison to the Yankees’ winter spending spree.

SI acknowledged moves can still be made before Opening Day, but the following reason was given for Boston’s preliminary grade:

“The Red Sox should remain an elite team, as any decline in offense ought to be made up by the bolstered bullpen. Boston will have to hope that’s good enough to repeat when so many of the elite teams — both in the division, like the Rays and Yankees, or elsewhere, like the A’s, Rangers and Cardinals — have clearly improved.”

While the Yankees’ offseason moves, which included signing Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka, among others, netted New York a solid “B+,” the other AL East teams didn’t fare so well on their respective SI report cards. The Tampa Bay Rays (C), Toronto Blue Jays (D+) and Baltimore Orioles (D) didn’t fail, but they also won’t be tossing their respective SI report cards onto their front office refrigerators anytime soon.

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