Hoyer insists Cubs plan to compete after dealing Darvish

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FILE - Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer talks on the phone as he watches players during the baseball team's practice at Wrigley Field in Chicago, in this Wednesday, July 8, 2020, file photo. Hoyer insisted the Chicago Cubs are taking a different approach this time. They plan to remain competitive while they retool rather than bring out the wrecking ball the way they did nine years ago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

CHICAGO – Jed Hoyer insists this time won't be like 2011 for the Chicago Cubs.

The team's new president of baseball operations said Wednesday that Chicago plans to retool rather than bring out the wrecking ball the way it did nine years ago.

Still, this one will leave a mark.

In his first major deal since replacing friend Theo Epstein, Hoyer sent NL Cy Young Award runner-up Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers Tuesday night.

On deck: Willson Contreras? Maybe Kris Bryant, Javier Báez or Anthony Rizzo?

Nothing is off the table, though Hoyer was adamant: The Cubs aren't following the 2011 plan. That was the year they hired Epstein and Hoyer, and the pair set the long-suffering franchise on a championship course by overhauling the farm system and revamping the front office. Along the way, Cubs fans endured a painful rebuild that included a 101-loss 2012 season.

“I'm not going to run the same playbook that we ran in 2011 and 2012,” said Hoyer, who was promoted from general manager when Epstein resigned in November. “I think that would be foolish. That playbook's been copied so many times, it doesn't work anymore.”

He said he's trying to keep “one eye on the future” while remaining competitive in the NL Central. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016, ending a drought that dated to 1908, but they haven't advanced in the postseason since the 2017 team lost in the NL Championship Series.