SURPRISE, Ariz. Spring training doesn't officially begin until Thursday, but for those who go each year, camp begins as soon as they set foot in Arizona.
Such was the case for many pitchers and more than a fair share of position players. Club officials and coaches are in that group, and, lastly, so are media members.
Hey, we're people, too.
The Star-Telegram spent essentially the past two weeks previewing Rangers spring training. There was news along the way, news that might not have received the attention it deserved.
To that end, here's some of that attention in a crossbreed of Rangers Reaction and the maiden voyage of the Surprise Five for 2018.
1. Yu Darvish has gone to the Chicago Cubs on a six-year deal worth $126 million, probably not what he was hoping to get but enough to build at least one more museum devoted to himself.
At one point last off-season, a source said that the Rangers were discussing giving Darvish a five-year deal worth $150 million. That was before the decision to not go all-in this off-season.
Included in the Darvish deal, reportedly, is an opt-out clause after two season. That's 2018 and 2019. The Rangers open their new ballpark in 2020.
Are we going to have to go through this again in two years? Well, maybe.
There is no secret that Darvish and the Rangers feel strongly about each other. Apparently not six-year and $126 million strong, but strong. Darvish is planning to keep his home in Dallas.
It would seem that the Rangers would want a nice shiny hood ornament for Globe Life Field. And someone who could keep the fans coming in once the novelty of the new ballpark has started to wear off.
Don't dismiss that possibility just because Darvish and the Rangers couldn't come up with a deal this off-season.
2. Word of the Darvish signing broke Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours after general manager Jon Daniels said that the Rangers had to be open to the possibility that they reach a deal with one of the top remaining free agents.
The unprecedented off-season, Daniels said, has sent everyone's plans for a loop.
Daniels also said that he didn't expect the Rangers to make a big splash, and the Darvish terms might take care of that.
Is agent Scott Boras going to get less than Darvish money for Jake Arrieta, who actually has won a Cy Young? Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn won't get five or six years, but four years would be too many for the Rangers.
Andrew Cashner, who was the Rangers' best starter last season, is still available. The Rangers signed him to a one-year deal for $10 million. They didn't make him a qualifying offer worth $17.4 million because they didn't want to risk having to pay him that much.
Would they give him a $2 million raise and maybe club option? No, Cashner doesn't strike out many batters, but he had a 4.6 WAR last season. Paying him $12 million or one year might be one of those value signings Daniels says he seeks out.
But that seems like a pretty big bet for a team that says it isn't going all-in this year.
3. To the angst of many in Toronto (according to my Twitter feed), infielder Darwin Barney signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers last week. Even though he's a very good defender, much better than second baseman Rougned Odor, the Rangers have two bench players who can play second base.
One of them is Jurickson Profar, who was going to be the Rangers' second baseman in 2014 before his shoulder gave way and Odor took the job. Profar is out of minor-league options and is going to make the team out spring training.
That assumes that he's with the organization. Ah ha!
Barney could be the Rangers' back-up plan should they find a trade partner for Profar, and the Rangers have been engaged with teams this off-season. Teams remain interest in the game's former No. 1 prospect.
It's still possible for the Rangers to carry Profar and Barney on the bench. Drew Robinson, the other bench player who can play second base, could be needed more as the backup center fielder. He or Profar could be the starter in left field.
But things get a lot easier for Barney if Profar is elsewhere.
4. Plenty was written about the Bartolo Colon signing, including two avenues he could take to the season-opening rotation. But the reaction to the signing was far more over the top than it should have been.
Here's why: Colon signed a minor-league contract. He's guaranteed nothing.
He must unseat one of the five pitchers in the rotation. Daniels said on Friday that Martin Perez is ahead of schedule in his return from a broken non-throwing elbow, and Perez insists that he will not miss any time.
Or course, Colon is going to be in camp. He agreed to not sign a major-league deal, so he must think a real opportunity exists or maybe was told by the club that a real opportunity exits.
But it feels like a bit of a long shot.
Colon turns 45 in May. He is coming off a miserable season. Yeah, he showed improvement after being traded to the American League, but his ERA was still above 5.18 in 15 starts with the Minnesota Twins.
You might want to pray for Perez's non-throwing elbow just to be safe.
5. Delino DeShields left Feb. 2 for Arizona to start working out in the outfield with Willie Calhoun. Rumor has it that both need to make improvements defensively.
DeShields said that he's living in Derek Holland's house in Surprise and 10 days ago didn't know if he was going to have any company.
Good news: He will.
Holland agreed to a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants and has a chance at cracking their rotation. Holland is willing to do whatever it takes to make the team, including taking on relief innings.
Holland, the former Rangers starter, continues to live in DFW and has a heart of gold. Not only does he have his own charity, the 60 Feet 6 Foundation, he has contributed significantly to the Do It For Durrett Foundation and others.
Here's wishing him well.