The New York Yankees traded disgruntled shortstop Bucky Dent to the Texas Rangers today in exchange for outfielder Lee Mazzilli.

The deal probably will be followed by the Yankees sending pitcher Tommy John to the California Angels for pitcher Bruce Kison. John's agent, Bob Cohen, said John will "probably be traded at the end of Sunday," but did not confirm that it would be in exchange for Kison.

The Dent trade solves the Yankees' problem of finding a spot for the former playoff game and World Series hero following the early season acquisition of Roy Smalley from the Minnesota Twins.

Dent, a veteran of four Yankee American League championship series teams, was hurt deeply by the loss of his regular job. He has a .167 batting average with no homers and nine RBI this season. He was a World Series hero in 1978 when he batted .417.

Mazzilli was born in Brooklyn and was a favorite of fans when he played for the New York Mets. He was traded to the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Ron Darling and Walt Terrell last winter. Mazzilli is batting .241 with four homers and 16 RBI.

Regarding John's possible trade, his agent said late Friday night that three teams had approached the Yankees about acquiring John. Cohen said the teams were California, Milwaukee and Boston, all of which were on a list of teams that John had approved for a deal.

John is scheduled to start the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium Sunday against the Texas Rangers, although he has been used sparingly in the New York starting rotation in past weeks.