The Red Sox, realizing that they are in two races at once due to being in the same division as the Yankees, took a look at their needs and made some aggressive moves to upgrade their pitching. They likely gave up someone that will bite them in the ass down the road, but no one knows who that will be and more importantly no Red Sox fan cares. They are trying to get to the World Series, and if they are so fortunate as to win, years down the road fans will say "Man, so-and-so is kicking our ass right now, but trading him HELPED US WIN THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!"
The Yankees are the modern day equivalent of Bear Bryant's Alabama football teams. In the years of unlimited scholarships, Bear would locked up all the talented kids in the country just so that the other teams couldn't get them. Who cares if some high school All-American is riding the pine? ROLL TIDE. Replace scholarships with dollars and you have the Bronx Bombers.
Yes, Aaron Boone's an All-Star. He's also the Reds lone All-Star, and every team is required to have one. Aaron Boone is ok, but he's no great shakes. He's a right-handed hitter who was greatly helped by a hitter's park in Cincinnati, and not much of an upgrade over Robin Ventura. Still, he's a Yankee and not with the Red Sox or Mariners, and Georgie Boy realizes that's half the battle.
Of all the deals we know about, the one that gets me is MoneyBeane getting Jose Guillen. A power-hitting outfielder who is going to be a free agent at the end of the year, playing for a team that just fired their GM and is looking to unload salary. We could have gotten this guy for a bag of shit, and we had the bags of shit to give. Our current bench alone could fertilize half the community gardens in the Pacific Northwest.