Texas Rangers General Manager Joe Klein has been fired, effective at the end of the season, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported yesterday.

Quoting a source close to Rangers management personnel, the newspaper said Klein will be replaced by former Washington Senators outfielder Tom Grieve, 36, who now is farm director for the Rangers. The team is in sixth place in the American League West.

Klein would not confirm the report, nor would the Rangers. "I don't want to talk about it. It's premature," Klein said.

"All we're going to say is, 'No comment,' " said team spokesman Burton Hawkins.

Grieve, contacted in Wichita, Kan., where he had just finished firing Tom Burgess as manager of the Oklahoma City 89ers of the American Association, said, "This is a copout, but I just can't comment on it."

Klein, who succeeded interim general manager Paul Richards Oct. 4, 1982, after Eddie Robinson had been fired earlier that season, is the Rangers' fourth full-time general manager since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972 . . .

E.J. (Buzzie) Bavasi, executive vice president of the California Angels, announced his retirement after a career that spanned more than five decades.

"I told (Angels Owner) Gene (Autry) a few months ago, when the club was leading the division, that this would probably be my last year and that he should start looking for some younger people," Bavasi, 68 said.

Autry announced later yesterday that Mike Port, the Angels' vice president and chief administrative officer, had been chosen as Bavasi's replacement . . .

Commissioner Bowie Kuhn has refused to order the return of injured Minnesota Twins shortstop Chris Speier to the St. Louis Cardinals, a spokesman for the St. Louis club said.

Speier, 34, was traded by the Cardinals to the Twins, and played one game before injuring his left heel Aug. 21 in a game in Milwaukee. The Twins contended he had incurred the injury 10 days earlier and asked St. Louis to take him back.

The Cardinals maintained the Twins knew Speier was injured and refused to accede to the request. The Twins appealed to Kuhn.