Incaviglia on waivers Rangers want Downing Notes


Outfielder Pete Incaviglia was placed on waivers yesterday by the Texas Rangers, who said they wanted to rid the team of the slugging outfielder because he was unhappy with his role.

Texas manager Bobby Valentine said that he made the decision after Incaviglia complained Sunday about having to bat seventh in the lineup.

"He showed me how unhappy and unproductive he can be," Valentine said. "He threw a complete tantrum. At that time, I bTC said, 'Pete's not going to be on this team.' "

The Rangers placed Incaviglia on unconditional release waivers, a move that could allow them to sign free agent Brian Downing while staying within the team's self-imposed salary cap of approximately $20 million.

"I'm just shocked that they didn't trade me," Incaviglia said. "They just let me go."

The New York Yankees have the first shot at claiming Incaviglia for a $1 waiver fee. Valentine said the Rangers attempted to trade Incaviglia, but found no takers.

"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."

* PIRATES: Pittsburgh won't increase its $16 million contract offer that Bonilla rejected earlier this week and now will consider trading the three-time All-Star, team president Carl Barger said.

"We've told him we've gone as far as we can go," Barger said.

Bonilla turned down the team's $4-million-a-year offer on 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 Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Pirates offered Bonilla a four-year contract extension that, coupled with his current $2.4 million salary, would have been worth $18.4 million over five years. Bonilla wanted a five-year contract that would start immediately and would more than triple his 1990 salary of $1.2 million.

The Pirates' only options -- unless Bonilla changes his mind and accepts their last offer -- is to trade him or lose him to free agency, receiving only a draft choice in return. The Cubs, Mariners and Yankees are among the teams interested in Bonilla.

* RED SOX: Mike Marshall, disgruntled and hoping to be traded, ended a two-day walkout and returned to spring training with Boston.

Marshall had been threatened with a $1,000-a-day fine if he didn't return by yesterday. He already had been fined $250.

* YANKEES: Mike Witt, who hasn't pitched since March 14 and is working on a new delivery to take pressure off his sore right elbow, was placed on the 15-day disabled list by New York.

He won't become eligible to return until April 14, six days after the Yankees open the season in Detroit.

Gene Michael, the Yankees' general manager, said that Witt would remain in Florida at the conclusion of spring camp, although he could join the team on the final day of its trip in Kansas City.

The move means that Andy Hawkins and Dave Eiland, who had been competing for the job as the Yankees' No. 5 starter, will both be in the rotation to start the season.

* BRAVES: Deion Sanders has been ordered into court Monday to explain why he hasn't complied with a witness subpoena in a California criminal matter.

According to court papers filed by a California Superior Court judge, Sanders is a material witness in a Los Angeles grand jury investigation concerning lawyer W. Raymond Newman, a prominent Los Angeles defense lawyer under investigation for fraud.

Sanders, who is vying for the starting left fielder's spot with Atlanta, could not be reached for comment. He also is a cornerback with the Atlanta Falcons.

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