Ryan Dempster has tried to sell Jon Lester on signing with the Cubs


Ryan Dempster officially retired as a member of the Cubs yesterday and accepted a job in the team’s front office. He’s already doing his part to improve the ballclub.

According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, Dempster told reporters that he has spoken with free agent left-hander Jon Lester in hopes of luring him to Chicago. Dempster and Lester were teammates with the Red Sox in 2013 when the team won the World Series.

“Jon and I have talked about how great it is to play here,” Dempster said at the team’s Clark Street office building. “He knows that. He’s got an extremely tough decision ahead. But whatever the decision is going to be, hopefully it’s here with the Chicago Cubs, because he won’t be disappointed.

“I know that the city of Chicago would embrace him. He’s just the type of person that can pitch here and do really well here.

“Hopefully, we’re lucky enough to have him with us.”

It’s nice to be able to utilize Lester in that way, but the Cubs also have Theo Epstein and company in-house, so everyone is pretty familiar with each other. Like most situations with free agents, this will come down to how much money the Cubs are willing to commit.

The field for Lester reportedly includes the Cubs, Red Sox, Giants, and Dodgers. He’s not expected to make a decision before next week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Alvarez’s bases-clearing double sends Astros past White Sox

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON – Yordan Alvarez hit a go-ahead three-run double in the seventh inning, and the Houston Astros rallied past the Chicago White Sox 6-3 on Friday night for their first win of the season.

Kyle Tucker hit a two-run homer in the sixth and made a spectacular catch at the wall in the seventh to rob Andrew Benintendi of extra bases and keep the World Series champion Astros within one run.

Eloy Jimenez hit two RBI doubles for the White Sox, both off Astros starter Cristian Javier.

Jimenez’s first double scored Tim Anderson in the first inning. In the sixth, Javier gave up three straight doubles to Benintendi, Jimenez and Joan Moncada to make it 3-0 and end his night.

White Sox reliever Kendall Graveman (0-1) loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh on two walks and a single. Jake Diekman came on and gave up Alvarez’s double to deep left-center, a drive that just eluded Luis Robert Jr. and bounced off the wall, clearing the bases.

Four Astros relievers each worked one scoreless inning. Seth Martinez (1-0) got the win and Rafael Montero handled the ninth for his first save.

Chicago starter Lance Lynn allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings.


White Sox INF Andrew Vaughn, who hit a go-ahead two-run double in Thursday’s season-opening win, did not play. Vaughn experienced lower back issues during spring training. Gavin Sheets started at first base.


Astros outfielder Corey Yulks, a Houston-area native, singled in his first at-bat and finished 1-for-4 in his major league debut.


Astros owner Jim Crane and his wife, Whitney, presented the team and staff with their 2022 World Series rings in a pregame ceremony.


Astros: LHP Blake Taylor, who is on the 15-day injured list with a left elbow strain, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land.


The four-game season-opening series continues Saturday when Houston’s Jose Urquidy faces Chicago’s Lucas Giolito.