The team said Cabrera has returned to his native Venezuela after the death in his immediate family. He must be on the list for a minimum of three days.
The Indians recalled left-hander Nick Hagadone from Triple-A Columbus before opening a three-game series in Seattle.
Cabrera is batting .282 with two homers and three RBIs. The 26-year-old hit 25 homers -- the most by a Cleveland shortstop -- and drove in 92 runs in 2011. He recently signed a new three-year extension that will keep him with the Indians through 2014.
Hagadone pitched in nine games for Cleveland last season. He's had four scoreless relief appearances for the Clippers this season.