Cincinnati Reds set to open the 2022 season on the road versus the Atlanta Braves

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) turns a double play.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) turns a double play. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is back! The owners and the Player's Association finally came to an agreement on Thursday after months of negotiations. Spring training begins this weekend with the mandatory report date set for Sunday, but Cincinnati Reds players can descend on Goodyear as early as today.

The owners and the MLBPA were locked in a tense negotiating battle ever since the lockout began in early-December. However, it wasn't until games were cancelled last week that the two sides finally started acting serious about getting a deal done.

The Cincinnati Reds will begin the 2022 season on the road.

The Cincinnati Reds will play their first Cactus League on Friday, March 18th versus Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres. As of right now, the abbreviated spring training will see the Redlegs play just 11 games in Arizona before heading on the road for Opening Day the first time since 1990.

That year, Cincinnati opened the season on April 9th at Houston. The Reds won their first game of the 1990 season by a final score of 8-4 over the Astros. This year, the Reds will do battle with the defending champion Atlanta Braves.

Cincinnati was originally set to begin the year versus the Chicago Cubs. The club would then take on the Pittsburgh Pirates for three games before heading south. But, with the first week of games postponed, those six games versus their division rivals will be made throughout the 162-game season by way of a doubleheaders and by extending the league play by three days.

New this season will be a 12-team playoff format. Had this been in existence last season, the Cincinnati Reds would have been in the postseason and slotted as the No. 6 seed. The division winners with the two best records will receive a first-round bye while the other division winner will play the lowest seeded team in the tournament. Had this occurred last season, the Reds would have played the Braves in the opening round.

Another addition in 2022 is the designated hitter in the National League. I know that baseball purists will not like this, but it seemed inevitable. For the Cincinnati Reds, it'll declutter the infield just a tad, as Mike Moustakas is likely to become the team's primary DH and Eugenio Suárez can man third base.

Next. Ranking every Reds player on the 40-man roster. dark

For those who haven't followed the offseason very closely, there's a lot to catch up on, but the most important piece of news is that Cincinnati Reds baseball is back! While the 2022 season will see the Redlegs open on the road, something magical happened the last time this occurred. Might we see a similar result this season? We'll just have to wait and see.