For Steve Balboni, Ron Kittle, Andres Thomas and Terry Puhl, the price was not right.
All four got released Monday as major league teams continued to cut veterans with big contracts. They joined Fernando Valenzuela, Pete Incaviglia, Calvin Schiraldi and others to get trimmed this spring.The New York Yankees put Balboni, 34, on waivers and must pay off the remaining $1.1 million on his guaranteed contract.
Kittle, the American League rookie of the year in 1983 when he hit 35 homers and drove in 100 runs for Chicago, was trimmed by Cleveland. The Indians also cut outfielder Stan Jefferson.
Thomas had a $650,000 contract with Atlanta. Because the Braves let him go early, they instead owe the shortstop $107,000. Puhl was released by the New York Mets.
More veterans figure to get cut today, the deadline for releasing players without owing them their full salaries.
In other moves Monday, Boston traded reliever Rob Murphy to Seattle and Montreal sent outfielder Otis Nixon to Atlanta. Three other players were put on the 15-day disabled list - Ken Griffey Sr. of Seattle, Charlie Hough of the Chicago White Sox and Pascaul Perez of the Yankees.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, meanwhile, made more efforts to trade all-star Bobby Bonilla, without success. General manager Larry Doughty said he talked to all but two National League teams Monday and planned to speak to all the AL teams today about Bonilla, who is unhappy with progress on a new contract.
"I threw it out there to (check the interest) . . . and there weren't any great offers out there. If we don't get any, we'll keep him all season and get an amateur draft pick for him," Doughty said.
In Monday's games:
Astros 8, Red Sox 0
At Winter Haven, Fla., Jim Deshaies gave up just two singles in six innings as Houston beat Boston. Mark McLemore, a non-roster player, got three of the Astros' 11 hits and raised his spring average to .545.
Danny Darwin, who pitched for Houston last season, allowed six runs on five hits and four walks. He was 4-0 with an1.89 ERA in his first four starts for the Red Sox.
Yankees 3, Twins 2
At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mike Blowers singled home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning and New York beat Minnesota. Blowers' hit off Steve Drummond scored Randy Velarde.
Royals 8, Cardinals 4
At Haines City, Fla., Danny Tartabull homered and drove in four runs, leading Kansas City over St. Louis. Tartabull got three hits and teammate Kirk Gibson homered for the second straight day.
Blue Jays 2, Pirates 2 (13 Innings)
At Bradenton, Fla., Mike Lavalliere's RBI single in the fourth inning for Pittsburgh accounted for the last run of the day. The game was stopped after 13 innings by mutual consent because both managers ran out of pitchers.
Expos 7, Orioles 6
At West Palm Beach, Fla., Montreal tagged Roy Smith for six runs in the first two innings and beat Baltimore.
Braves 5, Mets 2
At Port St. Lucie, Fla., Mike Heath and Tommy Gregg homered off David Cone as Atlanta beat New York. Cone gave up all five runs on seven hits.
Dodgers 5, Reds 4
At Vero Beach, Fla., rookie Ed Lund singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as Los Angeles defeated Cincinnati. Eddie Murray went 3-for-5 and Jeff Hamilton homered for the Dodgers.
Cubs 11, Indians 7
At Tucson, Ariz., Rick Sutcliffe gave up three hits in six innings and retired 13 straight batters. Jose Vizcaino got three hits and drove in four runs for the Cubs.
Brewers 12, Mariners 9
At Tempe, Ariz., Greg Vaughn hit two home runs, giving him four this spring, and Candy Maldonado homered and tripled as Milwaukee built a 9-1 lead in the second inning.
Padres 9, Angels 7
At Palm Springs, Calif., Darrin Jackson's bases-loaded triple capped a five-run rally in the eighth inning for San Diego.
Giants 17, Athletics 4
At Phoenix, Matt Williams hit two homers and drove in three runs and Kevin Mitchell homered and drove in four runs for San Francisco. The Giants are 4-18-1 against Oakland since the start of spring training in 1989.
Rangers 5, White Sox 3
At Port Charlotte, Fla., Ruben Sierra and Kevin Reimer got three hits each, leading Texas past Chicago.
Tigers 4, Phillies 3
At Lakeland, Fla., Walt Terrell pitched seven strong innings as Detroit stopped a five-game losing streak.