Cabrera, Fulmer sound optimistic about their health

Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers not playing due to injury takes practice swings in the dugout while playing the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park on May 1, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera and Michael Fulmer expect to be ready for the start of spring training.

The two Detroit standouts sound pleased with their progress after injuries interrupted the 2018 season. Cabrera played only 38 games before season-ending biceps surgery. Fulmer has dealt with knee issues.

The Tigers are holding their annual winter caravan this week, and both Cabrera and Fulmer were in attendance Thursday. The 35-year-old Cabrera says he’s feeling great and hopes he can stay healthy all season. He’s played more than 130 games just once in the past four years.

Cabrera, whose massive contract runs through at least 2023, said his time away got him thinking of what he’ll do when his playing days are over.

“I don’t know, but I was thinking a lot — this free time I had last year,” Cabrera said. “Hopefully I can keep doing baseball, teach baseball. I don’t know, working here in Detroit. I still have five years.”

Fulmer says he’s looked into some mechanical issues that may have caused his knee problems.

“When you have three knee surgeries on one knee, you think you’d try to get the hint,” Fulmer said. “So, something has to change. We’ve looked at countless hours of video to try to figure out different ways to try to relieve some stress on my knee. I think we’ve finally figured it out.”

General manager Al Avila also talked for a bit. The rebuilding Tigers have traded several star players in recent years, and one of the top remaining candidates to move is 26-year-old outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, who hit .298 with 23 home runs last year.

But it doesn’t sound like any deal is imminent for Castellanos.

“There’s been no interest at this point, just to be quite frank,” Avila said. “I don’t know. It’s just a different market out there. There’s still a lot of good hitters, a lot of good players still available on the open market that people don’t need to trade for.”

NOTES: The Tigers claimed IF Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. Cowart batted .134 in 47 games with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018.

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