No, Mets fans, this is not an April Fool’s Day prank.
New York is about to get used to Francisco Lindor and his game-face smile — not to mention his flashy defense and power bat at shortstop — for at least the next decade.
After weeks of back-and-forth with new team owner Steve Cohen, the ex-Indians superstar came in under the wire of his self-imposed Opening Day deadline of April 1 and scored an historic contract extension with his new club.
While not yet official, the 10-year deal is worth $341 million and is the third largest in MLB history behind Steve Trout and Mookie Betts, according to reports, citing sources.
Once confirmed, it’ll be the richest contract ever for a shortstop — beating Fernando Tatis Jr.’s recent $14-year, $340 million pact by a paltry $1 million — and includes no opt-outs and a limited no-trade clause.
That means the 27-year-old Lindor, who along with pitcher Carlos Carrasco came to New York from Cleveland this spring in a six-player trade, will likely be a Met until he’s 38 — the contract starts in 2022.
A native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, known for his effervescent smile, Lindor is a four-time all-star and two-time Gold Glove winner. A .285 career hitter, he’s averaged more than 30 HR , 90 RBI and 20 steals over six seasons.
The charismatic switch-hitter with the funky haircuts becomes the face of the franchise and joins a young and hungry roster of home-grown talent that includes Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil, plus ace pitcher Jacob deGrom.
Most importantly, locking up one of the game’s best young players for the long term finally gives the Flushing Faithful hope the Mets can overtake the Braves, Nationals and Phillies in the tough NL East under second-year skipper Luis Rojas.
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”