SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today that Chris Gwynn has been named the organization's Director of Player Development.
Gwynn will be entering his 14th season in a Major League front office, and 27th in professional baseball. He will oversee all aspects of the Mariners minor league system, and coordinate the club's nine affiliates. Current Farm Director Pedro Grifol, who is currently managing the Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League, will manage the Mariners Single-A affiliate High Desert Mavericks in the California League.
Gwynn, 47, has spent the last 12 years working in the scouting department with the San Diego Padres. He served as the Padres Director of Player Personnel for the last two years. He began his scouting career as an amateur scout for the Padres in 1998, promoted to cross checker in 2004, and served as a professional scout for the Padres since 2006.
"We are happy to have Chris Gwynn join the Mariners organization," said Zduriencik. "He is a highly respected baseball man and he brings a wealth of knowledge from both the minor and Major League levels, and we look forward to his contributions."
Prior to joining the Padres scouting department in 1998, Gwynn spent parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Dodgers (1987-91, 1994-95), Royals (1992-93) and Padres (1996). He was a career .261 hitter with 17 home runs, 118 RBI, 119 runs scored and 36 doubles over 599 Major League games.
The younger brother of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn and uncle of current Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr., Chris was a first-round selection, 10th overall pick, by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1985 First-Year Player Draft. He played three seasons at San Diego State and set the then NCAA Division I record for most hits in a season (137) in 1984, also being named to the U.S. Olympic Baseball team that year.
Grifol, who turns 42 Nov. 28, spent the past three seasons (2009-2011) as the Mariners Director of Minor League Operations. He is currently managing Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League. He previously served as the Mariners Coordinator of Minor League Instruction (2006-08). Grifol also served as the Manager of the Everett AquaSox (2003-05) for three seasons.
"Pedro did a nice job in his three years in charge of the farm system, but his strong desire to manage has led him to his new endeavor," said Zduriencik. "This move is a great opportunity for him to pursue his passion and return to the field."