The Rockies had surprising competition from a National League West rival in their quest to re-sign free-agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.
The Padres never actually made De La Rosa an offer but showed serious interest in the pitcher, major league sources said.
The idea of De La Rosa to the Padres didn't originate with the club; the pitcher’s camp made the initial overtures, sources said. De La Rosa would have been moving closer to his native Mexico and going from hitter-friendly Coors Field to pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
He turned down a higher offer from at least one team, believed to be the Nationals, to re-sign with the Rockies for three years and $32 million. He was willing to give the Padres a similar discount, sources said.
The Padres gave serious consideration to the notion but ultimately couldn't make the finances work.
De La Rosa's new average salary of nearly $11 million would have amounted to nearly one-fourth of the Padres' payroll. And because he was a Type A free agent, the Padres would have forfeited their first-round draft pick, 25th overall, to sign him.
The increased salary pressure almost certainly would have forced the Padres to trade first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. De La Rosa would have replaced Gonzalez as the team's leading Mexican-American player.
A trade of Gonzalez, who will earn $5.5 million in the final year of his contract, still could happen.
But it will not be because of De La Rosa.