According to MLB.com, Perez suffered a subscapularis strain in his throwing shoulder this spring and will probably not return for the next three to four weeks.
During this time, manager Terry Francona should consider Vinnie Pestano as the closer of the staff and the Indians front office should seriously consider trading two-time All-Star Perez.
"It's really difficult to replace a closer like Chris," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "He means a lot to the team, and I'm hopeful we won't need to. I'm hopeful he'll be ready to start the season."
The Dodgers were also interested in him this winter as the Indians were trying to shop the closer due to his large salary and criticism from both team management and the fanbase.
Perez was in line to represent the United States this year in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but due to this recent setback, this opportunity will no longer be an option.
Should the Tribe trade Chris Perez?
Perez will now not be available for baseball activities until symptoms of his shoulder issue are behind him.
"The shorter he's down," Antonetti said, "the shorter the timeframe to get him back to game activity. If his symptoms linger for a longer period of time, that means it's likely going to take longer on the other end."
If Perez does return by the Tribe's Opening Day game on April 2 against the Blue Jays, it will still be a situation where the Indians will be monitoring his every move and making sure he's ready to fill the closer position.
One way or another, the Indians should consider trading the righty for prospects and let Pestano take over closer duties whether Perez comes back to full form or not.
"The most important thing is to make sure that he puts the injury behind him, and once he comes back, he's ready to go," Antonetti said.
Regardless of the general manager's comments, it would be a wiser decision to put Perez on the block and see what the Tribe can get in return.