OF Raul Mondesi has reached a deal to play for the Angels just three weeks after walking away from the game, he told the Associated Press yesterday.

The former all-star and Gold Glover said he got a $1.75 million contract for the rest of the season. He said he will make his debut in center field for the banged-up AL West leaders Sunday at Chicago.

Angels spokesman Tim Mead said he could neither confirm nor deny Mondesi's account.

The Pirates recently terminated Mondesi's contract after he left them May 7 to return home to the Dominican. At the time, Mondesi said he was fearful for his family's safety as he fights a lawsuit by former major leaguer Mario Guerrero.

Mondesi cleared waivers May 21, making him a free agent.

* McGRIFF IS BACK: Fred McGriff will get another chance to reach 500 home runs as the Devil Rays called him up from Class AAA Durham. The 40-year-old first baseman-designated hitter has 491 career homers and is trying to become the 20th player in major league history to make it to the milestone.

To make room for McGriff, OF Jonny Gomes was optioned to Durham.

* SURGERY FOR MUELLER: Red Sox 3B Bill Mueller had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to remove a hanging piece of cartilage. Team doctor Bill Morgan said the defending AL batting champion is expected to miss five to six weeks. . . .

Astros LHP Andy Pettitte will miss his scheduled start Tuesday against the Cubs to give his strained forearm more time to heal.

* MOVES: The Expos activated 1B Nick Johnson from the 15-day DL and optioned OF Valentino Pascucci to AAA Edmonton. . . . The Padres placed OF Ryan Klesko (strained muscle in rib cage) on the 15-day DL and purchased the contract of OF Jon Knott from AAA Portland. . . . The Dodgers placed RHP Hideo Nomo (finger) on the 15-day DL and activated OF Dave Roberts from the DL.

-- From News Services