It is Minaya's belief that Wade, the former Phillies GM, was simply more comfortable dealing with his exes, particularly GM Ruben Amaro, who worked under him and considers Wade a mentor. On that, a lot of people in baseball seem to concur, so it would be both unfair and inaccurate to kill the Mets for missing out on Oswalt because of money.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman expands:
Executives from multiple teams complained they had no idea the Astros were willing to include $11 million of the $23.5 million owed Oswalt through next year and his 2012 option as they did to move him to the Phillies. The Yankees were not told at all how much the Astros would eat. The Mets were told that Houston would take "some money," but nowhere near $11 million, and were never given an exact amount. Of course, the likelihood is the Astros would never have agreed to pay one penny to the Yankees or probably the Mets either; and it is possible Oswalt might not have agreed to go to New York.
But an executive of a team interested in starting pitching said, "I don't know how we didn't know [what Houston was willing to pay]. I don't know how it is in the best interest of your organization not to explore every avenue. We knew the pitcher [Oswalt] was available, but we didn't know it was a financial giveaway."It came up on Twitter that this is:
Joint face-saving by grumbling execs and bumbling reporters who were used by them to muddy the trade waters.
Can't help but agree.