The Mets have agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman/corner outfielder Daniel Palka, according to Palka’s transactions tracker at MLB.com. The left-handed hitter has appeared in a pair of major league seasons, suiting up with the White Sox from 2018-19.
The bulk of Palka’s playing time came in the first of those years. He tallied 449 plate appearances with the South Siders in 2018 and popped an impressive 27 home runs, showcasing big power potential that had made him an interesting prospect coming up through the Diamondbacks’ and Twins’ systems. Yet he also struck out in 34.1% of his trips to the dish, and his resulting .240/.294/.484 slash line was only a touch above the league average.
Palka’s strikeout troubles continued the following year, and he was eventually outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. The South Carolina native signed with the KBO’s Samsung Lions in 2020 but hit just .209/.272/.367 over 217 plate appearances there. He returned stateside last winter, signing a minor league deal with the Nationals.
Assigned to Triple-A Rochester, Palka had an impressive showing in 2021. He hit .256/.364/.472 with 18 homers in 420 attempts. That was the latest quality minor league showing from Palka, owner of a .260/.350/.480 line over five seasons at the minors’ top level. Yet the Nationals never gave him a big league look, and he elected minor league free agency after the season. He’ll now try to crack the roster of the division-rival Mets, although New York already has a strong group of corner bats (Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, Mark Canha, etc.) due for regular playing time, barring trades.