ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Right-hander Ben McDonald, sidelined nearly two years because of shoulder problems, agreed Thursday to a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

McDonald, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1989 amateur draft, would be guaranteed $450,000 if he makes the major league roster. McDonald, who has not pitched since July 16, 1997, is 78-70 with a 3.91 ERA in nine seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers.

As the Devil Rays began spring training, they learned outfielder Quinton McCracken has a sprained right knee that will sideline him four to six weeks. The injury occurred during an offseason conditioning workout at his Arizona home.

McDonald, 31, has undergone surgery twice to repair a torn rotator cuff and cited Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild's experience handling pitchers as one of the reasons he was interested in joining the Devil Rays.

His contract, which includes an invitation to major league spring training, guarantees him a base salary of $200,000 and a $250,000 buyout of a $5.5 million team option for 200.

He would get a $200,000 bonus if he's on the opening day roster and could earn an additional $2 million in performance and roster bonuses.

McDonald was Milwaukee's opening-day starter in 1997 and made 21 starts before his season-ending injury. He set a career high for wins with 14 in 1994, finishing a three-year stretch in which he won 40 games for the Orioles.