The counterpoint to the Red Sox acquiring Hanley Ramirez was that he just wasn't a great and obvious fit on the roster, given the emergence of Will Middlebrooks and the current inexpensive and good enough Mike Aviles handling shortstop. That doesn't mean he wouldn't help the club, but there was no gaping hole for him to step into.
Boston thought of a way to both be involved in the Hanley Ramirez trade talks, though, while avoiding having to deal with that particular problem: according to Alex Speier, Boston discussed picking up Hanley in a deal with the Marlins, in order to ship him off elsewhere to address an area that was more in need.
That sounds like a three-team deal setup, and with the Athletics (and subsequently the Dodgers, who reportedly received Ramirez late Tuesday night) going with the more straightforward approach, it's no wonder that's where Hanley ended up. It's a less complicated scenario when it can just be a one-on-one deal.
That being said, it's neat to see the Red Sox trying to leverage Ramirez in a way where he could be essentially transmogrified into pitching help, be it for the 2012 team, or done in such a way that one of the surplus outfield prospects was shipped out in order to bring in near major-league ready pitching into the farm system from another organization. It's kind of a shame to not see it play out in practice, but it cost nothing for the Red Sox to explore the idea, either.