MESA, Ariz. - The official report date for Cubs pitchers and catchers was Friday, with position players due to arrive Feb. 23.
But a lot of the Cubs couldn't wait until next week to get going.
Jason Heyward - the Cubs' biggest acquisition of the offseason - has already been in Arizona for more than a week, while Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist were among the other position players who showed up before their report dates.
"You can only go so long without playing baseball, especially since some of the signings we've had and the excitement surrounding our team right now," Bryant said. "Who wouldn't want to come early? We're all excited to get out here and we really can't wait to get going."
Bryant also thinks the early showing in spring training is a direct result of the way the season ended for the Cubs last year.
"A lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff is good, too, just getting here early, getting our workouts in and pushing each other," Bryant said. "We're holding each other accountable.
"A lot of that comes back to how we ended last year and we didn't end the way we wanted to."
Heyward was impressed with how many younger guys showed up early and feels that speaks to how hungry everybody in the organization is.
He said he shows up early to spring training every year to get into a baseball atmosphere and Bryant believes that mindset speaks to Heyward's character.
Manager Joe Maddon, however, has a different opinion - though he did admit the eagerness and excitement of the players is admirable.
"I'm not an advocate of guys showing up early," Maddon said. "I'm actually, like, sitting in the RV, reading reports about what's happening or seeing photographs of guys working out.
"I don't think it's necessary. Come on out, maybe get a little running in, talk to the dudes, just get acclimated a bit.
"But this is all overkill as far as I'm concerned. There's plenty of time to get it down."
This is the same guy who holds "American Legion Week" in August every year, where he locks players out of the clubhouse hours before the game, stressing a need for rest and recuperation over batting practice and ground balls.
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As it stands right now, the Cubs will be working out for almost two weeks before embarking on five weeks' worth of games ahead of the season opener on April 4.
"I just don't want anybody to comment that spring training is too long," Maddon said. "They just made it longer.
"Everybody is always saying spring training is too long and then they show up two weeks too early. I don't get it. It's incredible.
"There's plenty of time. One of the parts of my message this morning to my coaching staff was we do have time to not rush anybody. The two biggest concerns are that we're ready on the first day and that nobody's injured.
"... Spring training is long enough. All this other stuff, to me, is way over-exaggerated."