With general manager Jerry Dipoto taking over, the departure isn't surprising. More changes could come soon.

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The Mariners will have a new person leading their player development in 2016.  On Thursday they confirmed that Chris Gwynn had resigned as director of player development after four seasons with the organization.

“It was time,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s a grind doing this job, and I was ready for something different.”

With general manager Jerry Dipoto taking over last week, Gwynn’s departure isn’t surprising. More changes could come in the areas of player development and pro and amateur scouting. Gwynn understood that his role within the organization could have changed.

“I know they want to bring their own people in,” he said. “It is what it is. I’ve been around a long time. I know what’s up. I could probably stay If I wanted to. But I think it’s just time.”

Gwynn was hired on Nov. 1, 2011 to take over the Mariners’ player-development system after serving as director of player personnel for the Padres from 2010-11. The Mariners had more than 30 players reach the major leagues during his tenure. It’s a source of pride.

“Watching the players grow,” he said. “We took what we got and did the best we could with them. I remember when I first got here, we thought (outfielder) James Jones might be a pitcher. Seeing the players succeed and the friendships I made are what I liked best.”

Gwynn also holds a special feeling for shortstop Ketel Marte, who made his big-league debut this season and could be the Mariners’ starting shortstop in 2016.

Marte was not a highly touted prospect when he signed as a minor-league free agent in 2010. But his attitude and work were something that caught Gwynn’s eye early.

“That’s one of my proudest moments, knowing where he came from,” Gwynn said. “I had a lot of arguments with people in the organization about him. It’s a great story now.”

Gwynn, 50, was excited about the possibility of finding a new opportunity.

“I am looking for something different to do,” he said. “It’s a grind. I’d like to do something else.”

It might even be something outside of baseball.

“I will see what comes my way,” he said. “I’m not afraid of the future. I’ve been in baseball for 31 years. I have no complaints.”

Though the Mariners can’t make it official, the smart money is on Dipoto hiring Scott Servais to take over player development. Servais is the Angels’ assistant general manager of scouting and player development and is under contract with them until Oct. 31. He worked closely with Dipoto, who was the Angels’ GM until resigning this season, and is considered a friend and confidant.

Servais joined the Angels after six seasons (2006-2011) as senior director of player development for the Rangers.  He was responsible for the on-field development in the minor-league system and worked the team’s major-league catchers.

Gwynn’s resignation comes after the organization confirmed that three special assistants to general manager Jack Zduriencik — Pete Vuckovich, Ted Simmons and Joe McIlvaine — will not return. Duane Shaffer and Joe Nigro, who worked in the professional scouting department, also will not return.