Grand Rapids — There is still a chance that Miguel Cabrera could be ready for the start of spring training, shortstop Jose Iglesias and reliever Bruce Rondon have been cleared and are ready to go, and there was never any plan to trade David Price this winter.
President and general manager Dave Dombrowski kicked off the Tigers' annual Winter Caravan with a bang Wednesday night, addressing the media before the West Michigan Whitecaps' annual preseason fundraiser.
Dombrowski said he hoped Cabrera would be cleared to practice after his final doctor's appointment, which is scheduled with Dr. Robert Anderson Feb. 15.
"Right now he's taken the boot off, the walking boot, earlier than expected and he is walking around normally," Dombrowski said. "He's putting all the pressure on the foot and he's doing upper body work. So we will see what the doctor says. Hopefully he will be released to go at that point."
Cabrera had surgery Oct. 24 to clear out bone spurs and repair a stress fracture. He took the boot off last week. His not taking part in the caravan or TigerFest on Saturday, Dombrowski said, was the team's decision.
"Not being at the Caravan is more from our direction," Dombrowski said. "It's us saying we don't want you to come up here and maybe slip on a piece of ice or have somebody step on your foot by accident and then set things back.
"He has made real good progress."
Rondon, who had Tommy John surgery last March, is on a normal progression to start spring training.
"We will be very careful with him, but he's throwing well and he's throwing pain-free," Dombrowski said. "He's been rehabbing all along. He's flown up for the caravan, but his rehab will continue.
"But we will be careful. Anytime you are coming back with a guy who's missed some time, you look out for him."
Same for Iglesias, who missed last season with stress fractures in both shins.
"Iglesias is ready to go, the doctors have said," Dombrowski said. "But you don't go run him in a marathon right off the bat. Both of those guys with normal progress should be ready for the season."
Dombrowski wasn't quite as confident about right-handed reliever Joel Hanrahan, who also is trying to come back from elbow surgery.
"He's been cleared and he's getting ready for spring training," Dombrowski said. "In his case, though, it's different. I feel confident Iglesias will be fine. I am confident Cabrera will be fine, though the exact date I don't know. And I am confident Rondon is going to be fine.
"With Hanrahan, he feels good and he's working himself up to spring training. But the key is going to be when he goes out there and has to throw hard on a consistent basis. He has to be able to bounce back before we can see."
Dombrowski, as is his protocol, would not talk about contract negotiations with David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, both on one-year deals. He did not have any update on talks with reliever Al Alburquerque, who will have an arbitration hearing early next month if a deal can't be reached.
Regarding Price, Dombrowski shot down rumors that the Tigers considered trading him.
"I will tell you, we never had any trade discussions about David Price this winter," he said. "People have talked. I cannot tell you somebody didn't inquire about him a time or two, but we were never in discussions to trade him. We like him and we hope he stays a Tiger for a long time."
Dombrowski also pooh-poohed talk that Price didn't like playing in Detroit.
"In talking to his representative — Bo McGinnis — he wants to make it very clear that David Price has no problem here at all," he said.
The Tigers caravan continues Thursday and Friday, with one bus heading north through the state and the other making stops throughout the metro Detroit area.