The Houston Chronicle’s Jose De Jesus Ortiz reported earlier today the Astros are about to announce their acquisition of White Sox right-handed starter Jon Garland, with CF Willy Tavares headed to Chicago. Not to echo Phil Rogers’ salary dump pronouncements too closely, but it was less than a year ago that Kenny Williams signed Garland to a 3 year, $29 million extension.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal claims Houston P Jason Hirsh, absolutely unhittable at Triple A Round Rock last season, is part of the package.

Amidst the lunacy of the past few weeks, the New York Sun’s Tim Marchman warns “the whole idea of exploiting market inefficiencies quickly became a bad joke…making a bad trade for an overpaid bum is nothing more than exploiting an inefficiency in the market for overpaid bums.”

A traditional general manager is like a chef who goes grocery shopping with ideas about what he’d like to cook ” having decided to make chicken, he looks for the best ingredients he can afford. Under the A’s model, a GM is more like a chef who goes out looking for the best ingredients he can afford and then decides what he’s going to make. He may want to make chicken, but if it’s pricey, he’s willing to buy zucchini and squash instead. It’s not a small difference.

The volatility we’re seeing right now can be traced to the ways in which the A’s approach has really taken root. It has nothing to do with on-base average or statistical analysis, but rather a conscious mind-set, an awareness that you can’t prepare a meal for which the ingredients aren’t for sale. You can pay Adam Eaton all the money in the world, but it won’t make him the no. 4 starter you need; you can give Carlos Lee a $100 million contract, but he’s still a fat no. 6 hitter with a bad glove.