"If he's not ready by opening day, it's gonna be very, very close. We'll know more Feb. 15," Dombrowski said.
Cabrera underwent right ankle surgery to remove bone spurs and to repair a stress fracture in a bone at the top of his foot on Oct. 22. He was cleared to remove his walking boot earlier in January and is expected to be reexamined on Feb. 15, right before Detroit's first full-squad workouts.
After an injury-plagued season in which he suffered several concussions,
"I'm feeling great," Avila said. "After the season, there were a few days of just kind of relaxing, recovering from the concussion. After that, I was cleared by the doctors on everything. I feel great and moving along as normal."
Avilla will enter spring training without any restrictions. Manager Brad Ausmus indicated in December that he could see a lighter workload behind the plate in 2015. Because of the injuries, Avilla is open to wearing a hockey-style catcher's mask this season.
"I tried it one time my very first spring training in a bullpen," Avila said. "I didn't give it much of a chance. I never really thought how much of a difference it would make as far as kind of withstanding those impacts from the ball. But you live and you learn."
Avilla struggled last season, hitting just .218/.327/.359 over 390 at-bats. He noted that he never considered hanging up his cleats after a rough 2014 campaign.
"Never," Avila said. "That's never even crossed my mind."
The Diamondbacks moved on from Miguel Montero this week, sending the catcher to the Cubs, and Avila or Navarro could end up behind the plate as Montero's successor. The Blue Jays are likely willing to part ways with Navarro after signing Russell Martin earlier this offseason.
"It's certainly open at this point," Ausmus said, per The Detroit News. "Clearly Alex has shown he has the ability to be an everyday catcher. He works well with the pitchers, they trust him. But I also think a guy like McCann has a very bright future. I like the way he catches."
Ausmus added Avila has no health limitations after enduring several concussions last season.
"A decision on who's No. 1 or No. 2 won't be made until spring training, or even if there is a No. 1 and a No. 2," Ausmus said. "Maybe there will be a split. I can't give you a full answer. All I can say is Alex is an established big-league catcher and I really like McCann. And (Bryan) Holaday did a really nice job as a backup last season. But a decision won't be made until March."
Avila finished 2014 with a meager stat line of .218/.327/.359. His 61 walks in 390 at-bats and continued strength behind the plate were two pluses.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/5/2014 vs Baltimore|
|vs Gibson (Career)||7||3||0||.571||.429||.429|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 || 8 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 14 |
| 15 |
| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2012||AAA-Toledo Mud Hens||3||7||0||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||0||0||.500||.429||.429|
|2013||AAA-Toledo Mud Hens||12||44||5||11||3||0||1||5||7||12||0||0||.353||.386||.250|
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