The Boston Red Sox have resolved to be better in 2018. That should come as no surprise, since every team in every sport makes the same New Year’s resolution each year.

Yet 2017 was a very surprising year for the Sox in a number of ways. By some measures it was an undoubtedly successful season, with Boston winning the American League East for the second straight year. Remarkably, the Sox had never done that before.

Consecutive division titles weren’t enough to keep John Farrell on the job. The manager was let go after back-to-back 93-win seasons. It was a clear indication that the organization believes it is in the midst of a proverbial “window of opportunity,” and should be playing deeper into the playoffs.

For a team that finished atop a division considered by many to be the toughest in baseball, the Red Sox had trouble resonating with their fans last year. Farrell’s team was deemed “unlikable” by much of the media, with some local talk show hosts openly rooting for the team to fail.

Enter Alex Cora. He is imminently likable, a popular utility player who was part of the often-overlooked 2007 Red Sox championship team.

He brings boundless energy to the corner office in the home clubhouse, and believes he can coax more production out of a young nucleus of players who entered 2017 with so much promise.

Cora’s Red Sox enter 2018 as an unfinished project. Virtually everyone in baseball expects Dave Dombrowski, the team’s president of baseball operations, to add an impact bat before the season begins. J.D. Martinez would fit the bill, but is still sitting on the free-agent sideline as the Sox wait to see if his contract demands will come down to earth as the offseason rolls along. Martinez is not alone, with free agents like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Jay Bruce also unsigned.

Dombrowski made one free-agent signing last month, bringing first baseman Mitch Moreland back to the team. He was having a tremendous 2017 before a broken toe hampered his ability and lowered his offensive numbers. Now he’s back with a two-year deal and believes he can make an even bigger impact in 2018.

The pitching remains mostly unchanged as we ring in the new year. Dombrowski has somewhat surprisingly not done anything to improve the bullpen, even as other teams pay outrageous sums for relief help. He may be waiting for the remaining relievers’ demands to come back to Earth, hoping that someone like Addison Reed could return for an acceptable contract.

So the wait goes on to see just how Boston’s baseball resolutions can come true in 2018. There is no doubt they will enter the season as underdogs to win the East again. The New York Yankees have burst forth as the heavy favorites to win not just the division but the AL pennant. The Yankees came within a game of accomplishing that feat in October, and have added the best home run hitter in the game, while maintaining the payroll flexibility necessary to add a top-of-the-rotation starter before spring training.

The Red Sox find themselves in a strange position entering the new year. They’ve been one of the best regular-season teams in baseball for two straight years but have gone 1-6 in the postseason over that stretch.

We’ll be watching the regular season closely, but whatever they do in that six-month stretch won’t matter in the big picture.

They’ll need to win in the postseason in 2018.

It’s clear that anything short of that will mean they have fallen short on their New Year’s resolutions.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.