The Mariners Thursday confirmed that Chris Gwynn, who oversaw the franchise’s minor league system for the past four years, has resigned. Gwynn is the first major front-office operative to depart the franchise since it hired new GM Jerry Dipoto. Gwynn indicated to the Seattle Times the decision was his, although many changes are expected following the firing of GM Jack Zduriencik.
Gwynn was a candidate to replace Dipoto as general manager of the Los Angeles Angels, who have interviewed Gwynn for the position. Gwynn was a teammate of Angels manager Mike Scioscia when the two played for the Dodgers in the late 1980s. The Angels also drafted Gwynn out of Long Beach Poly High School in the third round in 1982 but were unable to sign him.
Gwynn joined the Mariners Nov. 1, 2011 at the invitation of Zduriencik after he had spent 15 years in the player development operations of the San Diego Padres. Gwynn played in the majors with the Padres, Dodgers and Royals in a career that spanned 1987-96. He is the younger brother of the late Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn.
None of Seattle’s top four minor league affiliates — Tacoma Rainiers (AAA), Jackson (AA), Bakersfield (A-Advanced) and Clinton (A) — finished with a winning record this past season.
Earlier this week, Dipoto informed Joe McIlvaine and Pete Vuckovich, two special assistants to Zduriencik, that their contracts would not be renewed. Dipoto also told Duane Shaffer and Joe Nigro, two major league scouts, that their contracts would also be allowed to expire.
Dipoto has yet to make a decision on manager Lloyd McClendon, who has a year remaining on his contract.