The Chicago Cubs have signed catcher Eli Whiteside and infielder Jeudy Valdez to a minor league deal, a source confirmed to MLB Daily Dish. Whiteside’s deal does include an invitation to major league spring training while Valdez’s does not.
Whiteside, 34, spent last season with the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate and hit .187/.242/.280 in 67 games. The catcher, last appeared in the majors with the San Francisco Giants in 2012, has hit .215/.273/.335 over five seasons.
Cubs pitcher Justin Grimm took to Twitter to express his feelings about Whiteside signing.
Former and now future teammate. "RT @GrimmReaper51: Whiteside is the man and has a ton of knowledge on the game awesome move!!!!!"
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 16, 2013
Valdez, 24, spent the last eight seasons in the San Diego Padres’ farm system and hit .251/.300/.406 in 125 games at Double-A San Antonio. After spending the majority of his career at second base, he played the past two seasons at shortstop. In 253 games at Double-A, he hit .238 with 22 HRs and 95 RBIs the last two seasons.
Valdez will play second base or shortstop at Triple-A Iowa during the 2014 season and could be called up for depth reasons throughout the season. He joins outfielder Aaron Cunningham has the second former Padres farmhand to sign with the Cubs this offseason.