Eight games into the 2014 MLB regular season, the Boston Red Sox find themselves with a 3-5 record—not exactly inspiring when one considers the high expectations placed upon this team following a World Series championship last year.
Yet the offseason provided its own dynamic changes, which have had a direct effect on the Red Sox.
Gone are some of the stalwarts who helped Boston reach another championship title. In came some new faces to hopefully pick up where others left off.
We could look at the early start of the Red Sox's 2014 season and not be particularly thrilled with their lackluster start. Hopefully, all of that straightens itself out in the coming weeks and Boston gets back to its winning ways from last season.
Instead, let us focus on the offseason additions that general manager Ben Cherington brought in to help the Red Sox defend their World Series crown.
Some of these acquisitions have performed remarkably well. Look no further than the resurrection of Grady Sizemore so far as a perfect example.
On the other hand, other acquisitions have not quite worked out. Yes, it is early, and early season evaluations are a small sample size in comparison to the entire body of work.
But it is worth taking a close look at what these new Red Sox have done in just over one week of regular-season action.
In this slideshow, we will take a look at the six principal offseason acquisitions the Red Sox made and how each has individually performed thus far into the regular season.
For the sake of clarity and consistency, we shall not take a look at players—such as Jose Mijares and Scott Cousins—who were signed to minor league contracts. We also will not evaluate infielder Ryan Roberts as he was signed after the regular season started.
In addition, Mike Napoli will not be evaluated in this slideshow since his re-signing could be viewed as a two-year extension.
Instead, we will focus on the remaining six acquisitions—picked up either through free agency or via a trade. This list is courtesy of CBS Sports and is ranked in order of the date of transaction.
To determine the final grades of each of these players, we will evaluate the players' individual statistics up to this point as well as additional points of interest.
For example, a player who is hitting over .300 would typically receive a high grade, but if he is hitting around .200 with runners in scoring position and he is batting around—or just behind—the heart of the lineup, his grade would take a hit.
Make sense? Good.
Let us have ourselves a look.