Like with Andy Pettitte, the negotiations on Mariano’s new deal seem to have been relatively painless, even though he took less money to return to the Bronx after his unfortunate knee injury. But once Mo decided on one more year, he and the Yankees quickly came to an agreement because they know that they are meant for each other and that they need each other.
But this has to be a transition year for the Yankees. I suspect Mo is going to call it quits after this season. Even though the pull of baseball is strong, there were signs that the pull of family was getting stronger for Mo. If he is injury free, he will likely put up Mo-like save and ERA numbers and then walk away on a high note. The Yankees are going to have to spend 2013 testing David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain and the rest of their relief core to see who has the guts to step into those legendary shoes.
This is a transition year for Yankee fans as well. We’re going to have to make peace with the fact that in the near future we are not going to have Mariano closing games for us anymore. We’re going to have to live with the sheer nervousness of slim 9th inning leads that other baseball teams navigate on a daily basis, but that we haven’t worried about in 15 years. We’ll just have to enjoy this while it lasts, however much longer that will be.