The other problem not yet mentioned with the four year deal is that if Cordero tails off those last two years, when he leaves to go free agent after 2011, he will not be a 'Type A' free agent, netting us no draft picks.
That is exactly the point. Every year the A's paid a high dollar salary at closer, they let the guy go free agent(to get high draft picks) or traded him to further build their club.GoReds: "That chart shows me that the A's have been willing to pay premium dollars for closers, even though they are flipping them for draft picks soon after. Street is an exception, but will likely be flipped if or after he attains high-salary status."
The net result, looked at over 12 years, is an 80% save rate, ERA's in the 3s, an average salary of $2 million, a winning record with a low payroll, and good economics (buy low, sell high).