Stephan Savoia/Associated Press
The C- grade might seem pretty generous here, given the Red Sox's current position in the standings and the poor performance of many of their players.
But if you can wash the taste of 2014 out of your mouth long enough to examine how John Farrell and Ben Cherington are setting the Sox up for success beyond 2014, you'll see that things aren't quite so bleak as they seem.
Cherington gets a bum rap for "resting on his laurels" after winning the World Series in 2013, but I think that's a little unfair.
The Red Sox are organizationally opposed to handing out massive contracts to players like Jacoby Ellsbury—he was never coming back.
And while the Pierzynski experiment crashed and burned, Vazquez is already demonstrating why the Red Sox didn't want to commit three years to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Cherington swung and missed on the likes of Pierzynski, Grady Sizemore and Mujica, to be sure. He also left the Sox a bit thin in the outfield and on the right side of the infield, perhaps over-trusting rookies like Bogaerts and Bradley Jr.
But generally speaking, your organization is in much better shape when your GM's mistakes look like Cherington's and not, say, like Ruben Amaro Jr.'s.
Yet if Cherington receives a D- for his preseason moves, he should get a B for his in-season moves.
Once he determined that the Red Sox were out of the race, he went about an unconventional but total rebuild, acquiring MLB talent in an attempt to reload for 2015.
We're used to seeing "rebuilds" lead to the acquisition of prospects and two or three years of non-competition.
But Cherington went a different route, securing talents like Cespedes, Craig and Kelly this July, in addition to supplemental MiLB talents like Hembree, Eduardo Rodriguez and Edwin Escobar.
It was painful to lose the likes of Lester, Lackey, Peavy and Miller, to be sure. But Cherington did the right thing rather than the most popular thing, and he deserves some praise on that account.
It's a bit more difficult to grade Farrell, given the roster turnover he's had to manage this year.
On the one hand, he's supported the organization's developmental philosophy by sticking with players like Bradley and Bogaerts nearly every day.
He's also found playing time for deserving players like Holt and Nava, giving the players at least some hope that Boston's lineup is based on a meritocracy.
Some of Farrell's in-game moves are still puzzling, and his long-standing habit of leaving starting pitchers in games just a little too long has reared its ugly head a few times this season.
But overall, Farrell is an imperfect but good manager who really can't be blamed for Boston's lack of success in 2014.