More like the one of the worst trades in Sox history.
Not to diminish Thome's accomplishments with the Sox, but there were plenty of other power bats available that offseason, ones that were less than 35 years old, could field a position and weren't one-dimensional hitters, but then again the Phillies weren't paying us $22M for three years (half the contract) for those guys.
To me the real question is would the Sox have paid Rowand when he hit free agency after 2007? And would they have come close to the $9.6M the Giants paid him?
Also, Brian Anderson was a league minimum player. This move was more about money more than baseball. Yes, the Sox had their highest payroll in 2006, but this cut a pretty large corner.
I also agree that our pitching collapsing after working a postseason the year before is the primary reason we missed the playoffs in 2006, but this couldn't have helped.