The Texas Rangers joined the list of major league teams seeking to trim payrolls by releasing high priced veterans Friday when they placed slugger Pete Incaviglia on waivers.

Incaviglia, the only Texas player to hit 20 or more home runs in five seasons, is second on the Rangers' all-time home run list with 124 over his five-year career. However, the former Oklahoma State star hit for a low average and struck out an average of 158 times a season."This was a very difficult decision for us to make," Rangers General Manager Tom Grieve said. "Pete has been an integral part of our ballclub for the last five years. He's given us great effort during that time, and we appreciate it very much."

By releasing Incaviglia, the Rangers are responsible for only 45 days' worth of the slugger's $1.6 million contract for 1991.

Incaviglia tied the team record for homers in a season with 30 as a rookie in 1986 and stands second to Larry Parrish's 149 homers on the Rangers' career list. Parrish broke Incaviglia's season mark with 32 home runs in 1987.

The slugger, who will become a free agent if not claimed by Wednesday, was hitting .231 with one homer and one RBI in 14 games this spring. He batted a career-low .236 with 24 homers and 85 RBI last season.

Incaviglia's release came one day after the Los Angeles Dodgers said goodbye to left-hander Fernando Valenzuela, the team's ace for much of a 10-year career in Los Angeles.

The New York Yankees placed pitcher Mike Witt on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right elbow. Witt was 1-0 with a 7.50 ERA in two games this season. His last spring-training appearance came March 14.

By placing Witt on the disabled list so early, the Yankees will be able to activate the right-hander just six days after the beginning of the season.

The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates exchanged reserve outfielders Friday when the Cubs sent Gary Varsho to Pittsburgh for Steve Carter.

In exhibition action Friday:

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Felix Jose had four hits and drove in a run to highlight a 17-hit St. Louis attack as the Cardinals beat Pittsburgh 5-1. Jamie Moyer scattered four hits over six innings for the Cardinals.

Red Sox 6, Twins 1

At Winter Haven, Fla., Roger Clemens pitched seven shutout innings and Carlos Quintana went 2 for 4 with a homer to lead Boston to a 6-1 victory over Minnesota. Clemens gave up four hits, walked four and struck out four.

Reds 14, Phillies 11

At Plant City, Fla., Jeff Reed, Paul O'Neill and Eric Davis each homered as Cincinnati outslugged Philadelphia 14-11. Dale Murphy went 3 for 5 with a double, a homer and two RBI for the Phillies.

Royals 8, Rangers 6

At Baseball City, Fla., Danny Tartabull hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs to lift Kansas City to an 8-6 win over Texas. Mike Macfarlane had a two-run homer and doubled home another run for the Royals.

Expos 3, Mets 0

At West Palm Beach, Fla., Chris Nabholz scattered four hits over six innings as Montreal blanked the New York Mets 3-0. Delino DeShields had two doubles and a stolen base for the Expos.

Astros 14, Braves 2

At Kissimmee, Fla., Eric Yelding's grand slam highlighted Houston's nine-run fourth inning as the Astros defeated Atlanta 14-2. Javier Ortiz added a two-run homer in the fourth for Houston.

Blue Jays 6, White Sox 2

At Dunedin, Fla., Dave Stieb allowed two hits over six innings to lead Toronto to a 6-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Manny Lee went 3-for-4 with rhree RBI for the Blue Jays.

Dodgers 15, Tigers 5

At Lakeland, Fla., Eric Karros had four hits, including a three-run homer, and five RBI as Los Angeles hammered Detroit 15-5. Jeff Hamilton and Mike Sharperson added three hits each for the Dodgers.

Brewers 4, Cubs 2

At Mesa, Ariz., George Canale's two-run homer in the top of the 10th lifted Milwaukee to a 4-2 triumph over the Chicago Cubs. Dante Bichette added a two-run homer for Milwaukee, his fourth in 10 games with the Brewers.

Giants 9, Mariners 7

At Scottsdale, Ariz., Kevin Mitchell's two-run single in a five-run ninth inning lifted San Francisco to a 9-7 victory over Seattle. Mitchell and Willie McGee each had two hits and two RBI for the Giants.

Indians 8, Angels 7

At Palm Springs, Calif., Albert Belle belted two home runs to lead Cleveland to an 8-7 victory over California. Wally Joyner hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for the Angels.