Short answer: Yes, if it’s the Jason Bay deal (via the Marlins).
Long answer: Yes. Take a look at players A and B below:
player A: .282/.375/.519 (AVG/OBP/SLG), 29 years old, under contract for $7.5 million in 2009
player B: .299/.398/.529, 36 years old, club option for 2009-2010 for ~$20 million
Which player would you rather have? Of course, A is Jason Bay and B is Manny Ramirez. Bay is younger and provides similar production to Manny at this stage in his career for a lot less money. Granted, the version of the Manny to the Marlins/prospects to the Pirates/Bay to the Red Sox deal that I’ve heard has the Sox playing the rest of Manny’s salary for the year. The deal isn’t as attractive in that light, but the Sox will probably let Manny go this offseason, so why not get a player as good as Bay in the meantime (Manny’s salary being a sunk cost)?
Just my quick take. We’ll see what happens later today…