Don't read anything into that "or a player to be named later" part, though, because the Indians are interested solely in the money. And not chump change, either.
"It's a significant amount of money," general manager Mark Shapiro said.
That's because Johnson, who went 3-8 with a 5.96 ERA in 14 starts for the Indians, was making a significant amount of money this season. He was signed for $3.5 million, as well as a $500,000 buyout if his '07 mutual option isn't picked up.
The Tribe sent cash to the Red Sox, knowing full well they'll be getting back a sizable portion of the estimated $2.2 million remaining on his contract at a later time.
Shapiro said he talked to three teams who had legitimate interest in Johnson. The Red Sox, desperate for a starter with Matt Clement and David Wells on the disabled list, were willing to offer the most money.
"This was about moving payroll," Shapiro said.
Johnson lost eight of his last nine decisions with the Indians. He'll be replaced in the rotation by left-handed prospect Jeremy Sowers, who will be called up from Triple-A Buffalo over the weekend to make his big-league debut on Sunday against the Reds.
A break for Boone:
It worked for Jhonny Peralta. Maybe it'll work for Aaron Boone.
That's manager Eric Wedge's thinking behind giving Boone, mired in an 0-for-14 slump at the plate, three straight days off. Boone was out of the lineup for the second straight day Wednesday, and the club is off Thursday.
"We've just got to get him back up the middle offensively," Wedge said. "And we'll give him a couple days to get his feet under him on defense."
Ramon Vazquez has been filling in for Boone at third base.
Same ol', same ol':
The update on Jason Michaels is that there is no update on Jason Michaels.
The left fielder remains out of action with a sprained right ankle and is listed as day to day.
That will change soon, though. Michaels will be evaluated again Friday, after the off-day. At that time, it's expected the Indians will make the decision whether or not to place Michaels on the disabled list. They'll need to make some sort of roster move this weekend, regardless, to get Sowers on the active roster.
"We have the luxury of not having to make a move until Saturday," Wedge said. "But really, if he's not ready Friday, then it will probably be a DL situation."
Here's the question:
In 1959, Rocky Colavito led the Indians in home runs. In 1960, the year Colavito was traded, who led the Tribe in homers?
Part-time to prime time:
The injuries to Michaels and Casey Blake, on the DL with an oblique strain, have opened the door to more playing time for Todd Hollandsworth. And it's amazing what a little playing time can do for a player who wasn't hitting much in the first two months of the season.
Over his last six games, Hollandsworth has hit .313 with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs. On Wednesday, he was in Michaels' second spot of the lineup for the second straight day.
"It's helped him a lot to have more playing time," Wedge said of Hollandsworth. "His timing is better. He's a [heck] of an athlete. He's got bad speed and he's strong. The more he plays, the better his pitch recognition will be."
Down on the farm:
Sowers didn't disappoint in his final Triple-A start for Buffalo. He gave up just two runs on four hits with four strikeouts in five innings in an 8-2 win over Indianapolis on Tuesday, improving to 9-1 with a 1.39 ERA in 15 starts this season. Right-hander Tom Mastny pitched two perfect innings of relief and has a 2.01 ERA in 13 relief appearances for the Bisons. Right-hander Jason Davis also pitched two scoreless innings. He hasn't allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings since being optioned to Buffalo last week. ... Double-A Akron right-hander Bear Bay gave up six runs on 11 hits in six innings to take a 7-1 loss to Binghamton. Hot-hitting third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has been on the DL since June 16 with a left hamstring strain. ... Class A Kinston left-hander Chuck Lofgren didn't allow any runs in five innings of work, but the Indians went on to lose, 2-0, to Lynchburg in 10 innings. ... Three members of Class A Lake County saw action in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, which was held at the Captains' ballpark. ... Short-season Mahoning Valley lost its season opener, 2-1, at Jamestown. Right-hander Nick Pesco didn't give up any runs or hits in three innings and took a no-decision. Left fielder Evandy DeLeon went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Akron right-hander Adam Miller has been named to the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game's U.S. team. Miller has gone 6-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 14 games for the Aeros this year. Akron manager Tim Bogar will serve as a coach on the U.S. squad. ... Peralta's .520 (13-for-25) average over the last seven games is second in baseball to Juan Encarnacion's .522 (12-for-23) mark over the span. ... Indians mascot Slider is on the ballot for the Mascot Hall of Fame this year. Voting is under way at www.mascothalloffame.com and is open through July 15. Slider's competition includes K.C. Wolf of the Kansas City Chiefs, Jazz Bear of the Utah Jazz, Clutch the Bear of the Houston Rockets, Mariner Moose of the Mariners and Wool E. Bull of the Durham Bulls.
And the answer is:
With 21, Woodie Held led the team in homers.
After a Thursday break, the Indians will get back to work against the intrastate rival Reds on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Jacobs Field. Right-hander Jake Westbrook (6-3, 4.35 ERA) will take the mound opposite right-hander Aaron Harang (7-5, 3.92 ERA).