Sorry, but I couldn't resist:
2007 David Weathers: 33 saves, 6 blown saves, 84.6% conversion rate. 27 BBs, 48 Ks, for a 1.562 K/BB rate. 3.59 ERA. 4 HRs allowed. WHIP= 1.210.
2007 salary: $2,250,000.
2008 Francisco Cordero(thru 7/21/08): 20 saves, 6 blown saves, 76.9% conversion rate. 28 BBs, 50 Ks, for a 1.56 K/BB rate. 3.52 ERA. 4 HRs allowed. WHIP= 1.456.
2008 salary: $8,625,000, plus we lost our 2nd round draft pick to Milwaukee.
Back when Cordero was signed last year, there were a lot of us talking about the technique discussed in Moneyball of not over-paying for a closer. Billy Beane built up his closer's marke value, then traded them away for draft picks once their salaries spiked. Look over all the big money deals to closers over the last few years. Closers are a volatile and transient commodity. Closers are almost never a good investment for a long term contract.
The data listed above show that even a near replacement level pitcher like Weathers can close games... The Reds are going to regret paying that money for a long time... Small market teams can't afford mistakes like this if they want to contend.