Mets might get 3rd-round pick for Reyes

Oh, goodness. The Mets will be in bad shape draft-wise if Jose Reyes signs with the Miami Marlins.

If the Mets lose Reyes to Miami, they will get a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds created from thin air, plus the Marlins' third-round pick, according to a Major League Baseball official.

Yes, not a first-round pick or second-round pick. Third round.

Here's the explanation:

Under the old and new systems, Miami's first-round pick is protected, because it is ninth overall.

Here's where it gets interesting ... A change for this offseason as part of the new basic agreement made Heath Bell as well as Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez and Josh Willingham a different kind of Type A free agent.

The teams that lose those players as free agents, assuming arbitration had been offered, will get basically the same type of compensation they would under the old system. But the pick will not come from the signing team.

So, for instance, the Marlins are signing Bell. Under the old system, San Diego would get a pick between the first and second rounds created out of thin air, plus Miami's second-round pick (ninth in that round). Under the new agreement, the Padres instead get two picks created from thin air -- the sandwich pick between the first and second rounds, plus pick 9a in the second round, immediately before the Marlins select.

So what happens if Miami signs two Type A free agents -- say Bell as well as Reyes? Wouldn't the Padres get 9a in the second round from thin air and the Mets get 9b from the same round, which is Miami's pick?

No, says the MLB official.

It will be treated like the old system, where San Diego gets a second-round pick as compensation (albeit not from Miami) and the Mets get a third-round pick from Miami in addition to the sandwich pick between the first and second rounds.

The official explains:

"The old system still governs the pick assignments. So, yes, one of the picks slides to the third round, and the former club losing the player with the higher Elias score would pick first (i.e., San Diego gets the second-round pick because Bell's score is 81.4. The Mets get the third-round pick because Reyes's score is 77.2).