Mets GM David Stearns speaks during a news conference at Citi...

Mets GM David Stearns speaks during a news conference at Citi Field, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. Credit: Corey Sipkin

NASHVILLE — Chalk it up as one last loss for the 2023 Mets.

They found out Tuesday that they dropped to the 19th pick in the first round of the draft in 2024 and did not snag the top-six selection that they had hoped for.

That was the result of MLB’s second-ever draft lottery, which the Mets entered with a 4.3% chance of grabbing the first overall selection — which would’ve been a massive win — and about a one-third chance of ending up in the top six.

The Guardians, who had a 2% chance of doing so, wound up with the No. 1 pick.

“There was a lot of optimism earlier in the night,” said Kris Gross, the Mets’ vice president of amateur scouting, recently hired away from the Astros. “With Houston, we’ve picked anywhere from one to 28 to 80. So I’ve seen it all, been through it all. Nineteen is a pretty enticing spot."

Based purely on the lottery results, the Mets would have been ninth. But their penalties for spending more than $40 million past the luxury tax includes having their top pick pushed back 10 spots.

Had they gotten into the top six, they would have stayed there, since those are protected picks.

The swing from the first half-dozen to 19th also means the Mets will be allowed to spend a couple of million dollars less when signing their eventual draftees.

“If you're in the top six for that first round, you can narrow down the field a little bit more,” president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “When you're picking in the back half of the first round, it's much wider. From an organizational perspective, I don't know that it's going to alter our evaluation philosophies all that much.”

Minors detail

The Mets signed veteran infielder Jose Iglesias to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league spring training.

Long known better for his defensive abilities, Iglesias is a veteran of 11 seasons in the majors. He turns 34 in January.

“It's an established, veteran shortstop who has played at the major league level,” Stearns said. “He knows how to play the position, gives us a lot more depth.”

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