There is much more to baseball than hitting HR's. Palka does none of those other things. He's basically a replacement level player.
I started to say something like this yesterday, but then looked a little deeper and decided to hold back.
Palka had a few multi-HR games, so there were 24 games in which he hit a HR. That leaves an even 100 where he did not. Unfortunately b-r.com's excellent analysis tools didn't let me compute an OPS for those specific 100 games, and I didn't have the patience to try to compute it by hand. I wish my database skills were better, because it shouldn't be a hard thing to generate.
So instead, I went to look at his Win Probability Added, a situational stat, expecting to find that it was close to zero if not downright negative. I mean, hitting the occasional homer, often in games where the outcome isn't going to be changed, shouldn't be too valuable - 16 of his 27 HR were solo shots, not an unusual ratio. To my surprise, he led his team in WPA. Now, that stat is offense-only, but it's kind of like a results-oriented WAR statistic as opposed to computing WAR from the individual stats (walks, doubles, etc).
Apparently he was doing something to move the offense forward when it counted, and it might or might not be from just the home runs.
Now, the White Sox weren't a good team, by a far stretch. For a team leader, WPA of 1.6 isn't high. But, it's not nothing either - unlike WAR, I believe 0.0 is about average, or even slightly above. Eddie Rosario led our Twins with 1.7 (again, it doesn't include any defensive value). The mighty Red Sox had 4 guys better in this stat.
Bottom line, for me: I'm going to withhold judgement for another season. Stats can fluctuate, but it's possible that Palka can have value as a bat-only guy for a few seasons, in which case it'll be unfortunate to have misjudged with that waiver try.