By all accounts, the Mariners are making a change in their front office, with Chris Gwynn replacing Pedro Grifol as director of minor-league operations. The team is not making any formal announcements, however, because of baseball’s prohibition against breaking news while the World Series is being played.
Still, the reports are widespread, including this one from Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
Gwynn, 47, is the brother of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn and had a 10-year playing career of his own. His nephew, Tony Gwynn Jr., was drafted in the second round by the Brewers in 2003 while Jack Zduriencik was scouting director, and played for the Brewers from 2006-08.
Chris Gwynn has worked for the Padres for the past 12 years, the last two as director of player personnel. The Padres have had recent front-office upheaval, with general manager Jed Hoyer leaving to become GM of the Cubs. But a source told Hayes that Gwynn’s departure is unrelated to those moves.
Grifol has directed the Mariners’ minor leagues for the past three seasons. It appears this change is not related to any dissatisfaction with the job he has done but rather to Grifol’s desire to return to an on-field position. He managed Class A Everett from 2003-05, and is currently managing Lara in the Venezuelan winter leagues. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him back in uniform somewhere in the Mariners minor-league system next year.