All you need to know: MLB rumors, news roundup for Nov. 17

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Journeyman backstop Eli Whiteside has hooked on with the Cubs.
Journeyman backstop Eli Whiteside has hooked on with the Cubs. (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

The GM Meetings came to end on Thursday and the hot stove has been rather lukewarm since. Offseason action figures to pick up in the coming weeks, especially as the Winter Meetings (Dec. 9-12 in Orlando) draw closer.

Sunday was a very slow news day but not a no news days. I don't think those exist in MLB anymore. Here's a recap of the day's hot stove happenings.

SIGNINGS

Cubs: Signed C Eli Whiteside to a minor league contract. Whiteside, 34, is a career .215/.273/.335 (67 OPS+) hitter in 208 MLB games. Until the team makes some more moves, he has to be considered the favorite to serve as Welington Castillo's backup.

Cubs: Signed IF Chris Valaika to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 28-year-old hit .219/.261/.344 (65 OPS+) in 22 games with the Marlins in 2013. (Fox Sports)

Royals: Signed C Francisco Pena to a Major League contract, the team announced. The 24-year-old son of ex-big league backstop Tony Pena is a .236/.286/.348 hitter in 593 career minor league games, including only 129 above Single-A. Despite that, Kansas City deemed him worthy of a 40-man roster spot. Obviously they see something they like.

RUMORS & SPECULATION

Ricky Nolasco: The right-hander has multiple three and four-year contract offers on the table. The Twins are said to be making a "strong push" to sign him.

Rangers: Manager Ron Washington confirmed the team has discussed every available big name free agent, including guys like Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury. Texas has money to spend and obviously they're prepared to go big. (SiriusXM)

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