By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
Daniel Palka could be swinging for the Frontier Field fences again this season.
The Washington Nationals signed Palka, who played parts of the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Rochester, to a minor league contract on Monday. The deal could make Palka the first to suit up for the Red Wings in both the Nationals and Minnesota Twins “parent club” eras.
The 29-year-old Palka slugged 24 home runs and drove in 67 runs in 138 games with Rochester. He hit 18 of those homers, and 31 of his 49 extra-base hits overall, at Frontier.
The Chicago White Sox claimed the left-hander, who can play the outfield and first base as well as slotting at designated hitter, off waivers in November 2017. He led the 2018 White Sox with 27 home runs but batted .107 in 30 games in 2019 and was designated for assignment that offseason. He played 51 games for the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2020.
Palka was assigned to Double-A Harrisburg upon signing his contract. The Senators, like Rochester, open play on May 4. The Red Wings’ home opener is slated for May 18.