Daniel Palka of the Chicago White Sox reacts after striking out during the second inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
First baseman and outfielder Daniel Palka has signed with the Aguilas Cibaenas for the 2023-24 Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana season, Francys Romero of Besibolfr.com reported.
The left-handed hitter previously played in Major League Baseball with the Chicago White Sox and spent the 2016-17 Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana season with the Leones del Escogido.
The 31-year-old has become a journeyman in Major League Baseball after spending the 2018-19 seasons with the Chicago White Sox. Since 2019, Palka has played with the Triple-A affiliates of the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, and Boston Red Sox. Like many other professional baseball players in the United States, Palka played in the KBO for the Covid-19 Pandemic-shortened season. He had eight home runs and 23 RBI in 51 games for the Samsung Lions.
Palka hit .237 with a .732 OPS in 102 games with Triple-A Syracuse (New York Mets) and Triple-A Worcester (Boston Red Sox) in 2023. He hit 17 home runs and had 60 RBI in 412 plate appearances. Although neither organization’s big league club made the 2023 postseason, Palka was not called upon to fill a bench player role.
Palka has never had a problem in the power department. He has 197 career home runs in 979 games in the minor leagues and 29 home runs in 154 MLB games. A significant problem that has left him off major league rosters is the rate at which he strikes out.
During the 2018 season with the Chicago White Sox, Palka was called out on strikes 153 times and walked just 30 times.
His best statistical professional baseball season was in 2019 with the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Palka led the team with 27 home runs and recorded an impressive .900 OPS in 106 games. The power hitter finished the season with a .527 slugging percentage.
Palka joins a long list of former and current MLB players to play with the Aguilas Cibaenas. Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, and Starling Marte, to name a few. Francys Romero reports that Palka will replace injured first baseman Rangel Ravelo and is expected to be with the team on the first day of the season.
Palka looks to lead the Aguilas Cibaenas to their first championship since the 2020-21 season when they defeated Gigantes del Cibao. Only the Tigres del Licey (23) have won more Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana championships than the Aguilas Cibaeñas (22). The Aguilas Cibaenas were crowned champions of the Caribbean Series six times since the event’s inaugural season in 1949.
The Aguilas Cibaenas are scheduled to play their first game of the 2023-24 Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana season on Thursday, October 19, against Gigantes del Cibao at 7:30 p.m. ET. The contest will take place at Estadio Cibao in Santiago, Dominican Republic.