Late Friday, the Padres reportedly traded for St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds to replace Cameron, who was a free agent.
As for Cameron, who spent the last two seasons in San Diego, Nicotera said that he "enjoyed it in San Diego thoroughly. I think people could see it ... his teammates, the fans. And there was a desire for Mike to see if we could get something done or not."
Nicotera said that the two sides had "pretty serious discussions" in the last five to seven days," though he was negotiating with other teams as well.
San Diego general manager Kevin Towers, who said he will comment on Cameron on Saturday, said last week that the two sides were closer on the length of a deal (two years) though they were not close in terms of money.
Cameron might have been helped earlier this week when free agent Aaron Rowand agreed to a five-year deal worth $12 million a season with the Giants. Given that Cameron is looking for a two-year, or three-year deal, Rowand's deal might have raised his cost some.
"I would rather not characterize how far apart we were," Nicotera said of the sticking point of the negotiations. "We just were never really able to meet. It just wasn't going to happen."
Nicotera said that he believed there was going to be some "imminent player movement that could effect Mike," though he wouldn't elaborate.
The Padres had been rejected in their pursuit of two free agent outfielders this winter: Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley before an impasse was reached with Cameron.
Cameron, who turns 35 next month, will miss the first 25 games of the regular season following a positive test for banned stimulants. Nicotera said that suspension hasn't affected negotiations with teams or has it tempered enthusiasm for the three-time Gold Glove winner.
Regardless of where the Georgia native ends up, Cameron will have fond memories of his time in San Diego.
"From a personal standpoint, Mike had a desire to see if something could work in San Diego," Nicotera said. "In terms of the city, there were tons of things he loved about it. But in terms of his family, it wasn't the perfect location. But it was worth working on."
Cameron hit .242 with 21 home runs and 78 RBI and a club-record 160 strikeouts last season. That came on the heels of a season when he hit .268 with 22 home runs and 83 RBI for San Diego.
Chatting with Jenkins: The Padres have rekindled talks with the agent for outfielder Geoff Jenkins after missing out on Fukudome, who agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract with the Cubs. The Padres reportedly offered Fukudome four years and $40 million.
Damon Lapa, the agent for Jenkins, spoke to Padres general manager Kevin Towers on Thursday and hoped to do so again on Friday regarding the 33-year-old Jenkins.
The Padres aren't alone in their pursuit of Jenkins. Lapa indicated that there's a multi-year offer on the table for Jenkins, though he wouldn't say from what team. That team is believed to be the Philadelphia Phillies.
"It's definitely started to heat up," Lapa said of interest in Jenkins. "I would say that the energy level of the clubs pursuing Geoff has stepped up."
Lapa was hopeful that a decision could be made by the middle of next week and isn't under the impression that it's an either/or deal regarding Cameron and Jenkins. If San Diego is able to ink Jenkins to a deal, he would likely platoon in left field with Scott Hairston, a right-hander.
And if Cameron signs as well, Hairston then would likely play center field until Cameron returns from his suspension.
Promotion for Ready: Randy Ready was named the manager for the Padres' Triple-A affiliate in Portland on Friday.
Ready replaces Rick Renteria, who earlier this week was named San Diego's first-base coach.
Ready, who is entering his fifth season in the Padres organization, spent the 2007 season as the manager at Double-A San Antonio, where his team won the Texas League championship.
Also Friday, the Padres named Max Venable as the hitting coach for Portland. He was the hitting coach at Class A Lake Elsinore last season. Venable's son, Will, will likely be an outfielder with Portland this season.
Call to arms: As expected, the Padres announced the signings of veteran pitchers Glendon Rusch and Shawn Estes to Minor League contracts on Friday.
The 33-year-old Rusch, a left-hander, didn't pitch last season after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his right lung in September of 2006. He has a career 60-94 record.
Rusch was on blood thinners for nearly a year and wasn't allowed to start throwing until August.
Estes, a 34-year-old left-hander, has appeared in one Major League game since 2005.
He had elbow surgery in 2006 and was making Minor League rehabilitation appearances when he aggravated his elbow in August, causing the Padres to shut him down for the rest of the season.
Rusch and Estes will certainly merit consideration for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, along with Clay Hensley and Justin Germano, if the Padres don't make other moves to address their rotation this winter.