Injuries could put three key players out of action for a while. Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez has a strained shoulder and could be lost for up to a month. The All-Star will be shut down from throwing for the next week to 10 days, the Indians announced via Twitter on Friday. They're hoping he can pitch again in three to four weeks. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford will be out for at least a week after experiencing minor nerve irritation in his left elbow during spring training. Crawford, who underwent Tommy John reconstruction surgery in August before he came to the Dodgers in a trade with Boston, will not throw or hit for a week, manager Don Mattingly said. There's concern that Crawford might not be ready to play by opening day. The Texas Rangers sent outfielder Nelson Cruz to a hospital for tests after he experienced soreness in his chest. The team said condition is not considered serious and the tests were precautionary. It's not clear whether Cruz will miss any playing time. ---Mark Prior, a 32-year-old right-hander who hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2006, has signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, according to a report. Shoulder problems have plagued Prior and thwarted several comeback attempts. Last season, Prior pitched for Pawtucket, the Boston Red Sox's triple-A team, and posted a 1-0 record with a 3.96 ERA. ---Former major-league player Vladimir Guerrero wants to resume his baseball career at age 38 and would be agreeable to a minor-league deal, according to a report by Fox Sports. Guerrero hasn't played since last June when he hit .358 with four homers for the Toronto Blue Jays' triple-A team in a brief 12-game stint. ---Free-agent relief pitcher Jose Valverde has been removed from the Dominican Republic team roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic because of an unspecified personal issue, the team announced on Friday. Valverde was replaced on the Dominican roster by Lorenzo Barcelo.
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