Last month, Orlando Hudson signed for a third of what Mark Ellis got back in October. That Ellis signed for more than Hudson shows the unpredictability of the current free agent market. With Hudson expected to be the bellwether, Ellis was considered an affordable alternative. His extension was expected to increase demand for Hudson's glove.
Buster Olney points out just how smart Mark Ellis and his agents look by agreeing to a 2-year $11MM extension with the A's that at the time was considered a mistake by many. Olney notes it wasn't about economic forecasting:
This begs the question: Would Billy Beane have been better off waiting? With Oakland's young rotation, Ellis' defense is probably not something they wanted to risk losing.