The last time David Robertson bumped into Mariano Rivera, the first thing the retired Yankee closer said to the man in line to replace him was: “You scared?”

Robertson laughed while recreating the playful trash talk last month from the Baseball Writers Association of America dinner. “I’m like, ‘No,’ Robertson said. “Typical Mo. He’s already all over my case and I haven't even thrown a pitch in 2014 yet.”

All kidding aside, Robertson added that Rivera “knows I can do it and I think I know I can do it. It’s just a matter of actually stepping out there and doing it.”

And that is what everyone around the Yankees will be watching as this season unfolds. Robertson’s likely promotion from eighth-inning setup man to the player replacing the best closer ever is one of the biggest story lines around the Yanks this year.

Robertson refuses to claim the job at this point, saying, “It’s not mine, yet,” although he realizes that various members of the Yankee brain trust — Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi — have given him first crack at closing.

Speaking outside the club’s minor-league complex here after a pre-camp workout, Robertson several times made it clear he feels he must earn the job. He is not overanalyzing the shift to the ninth inning, nor is he tracking every suggestion that the Yankees must add a proven closer just in case.

“It’s the same deal — throwing the eighth or ninth inning, you still have to get three outs, you’ve got to be effective, you can’t give up the lead,” Robertson said. “In my eyes, I’m not going to try to overthink the situation.