Outfielder Pete Incaviglia was put on waivers Friday by the Texas Rangers, who said they wanted to be rid of him because he was unhappy with his role.

Texas Manager Bobby Valentine said at Port Charlotte, Fla., that he made the decision after Incaviglia complained Sunday about having to bat seventh in the lineup.

The Rangers said they tried to trade Incaviglia before unconditionally releasing him, a move that could allow them to sign free agent Brian Downing while staying within the team’s self-imposed salary cap of about $20 million.


“I wish we got something for Pete,” Valentine said. “And we tried, repeatedly, day in and day out for the last four months, talking with 25 other teams. (We tried) to get anything--not to get, you know, Bobby Bonilla in return, but to get anything. How about a left-handed reliever who could pitch at triple A? How about a catcher who can catch at double A? No one was willing to make a trade.”

If Incaviglia is not claimed by Wednesday, he becomes a free agent and Texas has to give him 45 days termination pay: $414,148. He was scheduled to make $1,675,000 this season.

The Rangers said the decision had nothing to do with money, but with Incaviglia’s performance. Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in each of five major league seasons, Incaviglia has had trouble hitting inside fastballs and has struck out 788 times. He batted .233 with 24 home runs and 85 runs batted in in 1990, but struck out 146 times.

The Pittsburgh Pirates won’t increase their $16-million contract offer that Bobby Bonilla rejected earlier this week and will consider trading the three-time All-Star, team president Carl Barger said. Bonilla turned down the team’s $4-million-a-year offer Tuesday and made a counterproposal of $20 million over five years--a deal nearly identical to Darryl Strawberry’s $20.25-million contract with the Dodgers.

Tiger president Bo Schembechler said the club lost money in 1990 for the first time in recent memory and would continue to do so for the next four years, or until the Tigers move into a new stadium.

The New York Yankees put Mike Witt, who had been their probable opening-day starter, on the 15-day disabled list. . . . The New York Mets, forced to shuffle their staff because of an injury to Sid Fernandez, will start the season with two rookie pitchers, left-handers Pete Schourek, 21, and Doug Simons, 24, in the bullpen. The last time the Mets opened with two rookie pitchers was 1984, when they had Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling. . . . Mike Marshall returned to the Red Sox camp in Winter Haven, Fla., after being absent for two days and after being threatened with a $1,000-a-day fine if he didn’t return by Friday. Marshall is unhappy with a reserve role, but said his absence was to take care of family problems.

In exhibitions, Montreal’s Chris Nabholz turned in his second consecutive shutout performance, holding the Mets scoreless for six innings in a 3-0 victory. . . . Dante Bichette and George Canale hit two-run homers for the Milwaukee Brewers in a 4-2, 10-inning victory over the Chicago Cubs. . . . Ken Griffey Sr. doubled and singled in his first game back since an auto accident, but the Seattle Mariners lost, 9-7, to the San Francisco Giants. . . . Roger Clemens pitched seven shutout innings as the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins, 6-1, for their sixth consecutive victory. . . . Eric Davis, Paul O'Neill and Jeff Reed homered for the Cincinnati Reds and they withstood Philadelphia homers by Lenny Dykstra, Dale Murphy, Ricky Jordan, Dave Hollins, Dickie Thon and Sil Campusano to beat the Phillies, 14-11.