BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JULY 22: A general view of the Green Monster scoreboard after the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 22, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Locally, the offseason grades for the 2024 Red Sox have been nothing short of abysmal. And that was true even before the team’s primary acquisition, right-handed starter Lucas Giolito, was lost for the season (and saw contract doubled) with an elbow injury.

But nationally, the grades for the grades for the Sox haven’t been much better.

If you read this year’s season preview by Alex Speier in the Boston Globe, you know that the long-term projections for the Red Sox are a little scattered, which is to say that, at a minimum, there is great uncertainty. Recently, our own Tyler Milliken offered some relatively positive predictions for the Red Sox entering this season, which is perhaps a reminder that there is always the chance (however microscopic) things will go right.

While noting that many of these offseason grades were given to the Red Sox as far back as 6-8 weeks ago, here is a reminder of what people have been saying about the Red Sox outside of the city limits.

ESPN (David Schoenfield)

Grade: F

What’s going on here? Good question. Perhaps the winter wouldn’t look so underwhelming if minority owner Tom Werner hadn’t exclaimed back in the November that the team would be going “full throttle” this offseason — a comment that Werner eventually told MassLive’s Sean McAdam “wasn’t the most artful way of saying what I wanted to say.” Maybe full throttle — like a lot of teams — only applied to signing Ohtani or Yamamoto. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Giolito signing after he gave up 41 home runs (and now he’s already hurt and could be facing season-ending surgery), and the structure of the deal means they are on the hook for 2025 no matter Giolito’s status. The big question is why the Red Sox are running a $179 million payroll that is well below the $235 million payrolls they ran in 2018-19.

  • The Athletic (Tim Britton, Grant Brisbee and Aaron Gleeman)

    Grade: D

    We’re into Year 5 and Regime 2 of shrugging our shoulders at what the Red Sox are trying to do. It’s cute to point out the factually correct but still irreconcilable dynamic of this franchise finishing last more than any other while still winning as many titles as any other over the last dozen years. But this more recent stretch, commencing of course with a certain 2020 trade, feels as aimless as any the Sox have encountered in a generation. When exactly is this team’s window of contention?

    Needing an influx of pitching, Boston has thus far settled for adding Lucas Giolito and subtracting Chris Sale. Again, shrug. There may not be a more obvious match in free agency remaining than the Red Sox and Jordan Montgomery, who would help the whole picture here.

    Tyler O’Neill lends balance to the lineup, and Vaughn Grissom gives the Sox someone who, in theory, can play a major-league second base. But full throttle? I’ve seen real lawn mowers with better giddyup. Sorry, I meant reel lawn mowers.

  • USA Today (Gabe Lacques)

    Grade: D

    Rafael Devers was right to pop off: Boston’s done virtually nothing. Its total lack of appeal to elite free agents like Yoshinobu Yamamoto has been five years in the making.

  • FOX Sports (Jordan Shusterman)

    Grade: C-

    The few moves Boston has made — signing Lucas Giolito, dealing Chris Sale for a core infield piece in Vaughn Grissom, swapping out Alex Verdugo for Tyler O’Neill — all look pretty good to me in a vacuum. But when you’re coming off consecutive last-place finishes, and you communicate promises of a “full-throttle” offseason meant to get back into the playoff mix, these medium-splash deals aren’t nearly enough to move the needle, let alone satiate a fan base angry and starving for its team to start acting like the Boston Red Sox again. With many parallels to San Francisco, Boston, too, still has the opportunity to salvage a winter of frustration by landing a Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery. Otherwise, the vibes are likely to remain bitter in Beantown as camp opens.

  • CBS Sports (R.J. Anderson)

    CBS Sports (R.J. Anderson)

    Grade: B

    We gave the Red Sox a “B” back in January because we felt they had made some sensible bounce-back bets on starter Lucas Giolito, infielder Vaughn Grissom, and outfielder Tyler O’Neill. Maybe that B stood for boo-boo? Almost three months later, Giolito could miss the entire season; Grissom seems certain to miss Opening Day; and O’Neill … well, he’s dealing with a calf issue, but that seems like small beans given his company and his injury history. (The Red Sox have since signed veteran reliever Liam Hendriks, who is also expected to miss the year following Tommy John surgery.) We’ll stand by the B out of respect for how tricky forecasting player health is (even for the professionals), but we acknowledge their winter no longer looks nearly that strong.

  • Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller)

    Grade: F

    Even before finding out that Giolito might miss the entire season with an elbow injury, this was a brutal offseason.

    They knew damn well that starting pitching was their glaring weakness, and their grand solution was to trade their oft-injured ace for an unproven middle infielder while replacing Sale with a pitcher coming off back-to-back barely sub-5.00 ERA campaigns—all while refusing to sign Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery.

    The Red Sox are still considered the favorites for Montgomery, which would be a great big, last-minute splash. But even that would only bring them from an F up to maybe a C, as we went into the offseason rather assuming they would land one of the several marquee starters available.

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.