General manager Dan O'Dowd said Tuesday that he was "not optimistic" about signing Tadahito Iguchi, who played for the White Sox and the Phillies last season and was the Rockies' top free-agent target.
His lack of optimism proved correct, as Iguchi wound up agreeing to a deal with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
The Rockies could still sign a less-expensive veteran, but they'd be looking to organization products Clint Barmes, Omar Quintanilla and a player who is gaining notice, Jayson Nix -- MVP of the World Cup earlier this offseason and the club's top pick in 2001. Also, power hitters Jeff Baker and Ian Stewart have worked on moving from corner positions to second.
The Rockies also are pursuing right-handed starter Kip Wells, who pitched for the Cardinals last season.
O'Dowd also said odds are against the Rockies being able to retain right-handed starter Josh Fogg and left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt.
In other developments, Wednesday at 10 p.m. MT is the deadline for tendering offers to arbitration-eligible players. O'Dowd said the Rockies would tender third baseman Garrett Atkins, infielder Barmes, left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes, right fielder Brad Hawpe and left fielder Matt Holliday.
O'Dowd said the club is hoping to reach an agreement with outfielder Cory Sullivan before the deadline, but the Rockies had not decided whether to tender Sullivan an offer if there is no agreement before the deadline.
If the Rockies tender an offer to Sullivan, who spent much of the season in the Minors but contributed to the late playoff run, they can not cut his salary by more than 20 percent below the $900,000 he received in 2007. The Rockies would still have freedom for setting his salary, but Sullivan would be a free agent and other teams can negotiate with him.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.