Buehrle signing may give Mets higher pick

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle pitches

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (July 2, 2007) (Credit: MCT)

DALLAS -- Veteran lefthander Mark Buehrle agreed to a four-year, $58-million contract with the Marlins Wednesday, and that could prove to be good news for the Mets as they plan for a brighter future.

But the Mets have to wait out Miami's storm of spending before celebrating too hard.

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball notified the Mets that, as of now, they would receive the Marlins' second-round pick (10th in the round) as compensation for Miami's signing of Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106-million contract. The Mets also receive a pick in the sandwich round, which occurs between the first and second rounds.

The Mets originally feared that they would get a third-round pick because closer Heath Bell -- whom the Marlins signed to a three-year, $27-million contract -- ranked higher than Reyes on the rankings of the Elias Sports Bureau, which have been used to determine compensation. Under that thinking, San Diego would take Miami's second-round selection for Bell's departure.

But Bell, as a result of the new collective-bargaining agreement, does not cost a team a pick. Rather, San Diego received a pick directly ahead of the Marlins' second-round selection, and because Reyes is a Type A free agent, the Mets get the Miami second-round choice.

The Mets will drop a round if the Marlins sign any of three top free agents: Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols or C.J. Wilson. Pujols now appears headed back to St. Louis after turning down a huge Miami offer, yet Fielder and Wilson are still in play with the winter's most aggressive team.

The addition of Buehrle could cause the Marlins to hit the brakes on their spending spree, although there was no such indication Wednesday.

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