OK, Trevor Rosenthal. Let's just say if the decision were yours, what would it be: Starting or closing?

"I'd have to think about it," he answers just as he answers many questions -- that is, with a slight grin.

Well, there was a time not that long ago when you would have chosen starting without any hesitation.

Does that mean you're coming around to the idea of working out of the bullpen for the long term?

"I don't know," he says. "I can't say right now. I definitely enjoy it."

That is, of course, exactly how he should answer the question. In the slight chance that Rosenthal ever were to make any kind of ultimatum, he certainly would not do so with his team in a pennant race. He is too good of a teammate, too good of an employee, not to mention too humble.

When he says, "Every day I have an opportunity to pitch is a blessing. I don't take it for granted," you can believe him. At least I believe him. I've watched him for three years and he is as consistently calm and collected off the field as his fastball is mean and nasty on the mound.

But Rosenthal could not be faulted for wondering about his future on occasion. There is simply too much money on the line not to think about starting someday. It's not much of a reach to say the difference for him could be $50 million.

Consider: Nine active starting pitchers have contracts worth at least $100 million; the largest deal ever for a reliever was signed by Jonathan Papelbon, at just more than $50 million. Mariano Rivera never made more than $15 million in a season; 18 starters are making more than that this season.