Reds vs. Cubs on Opening Day hangs in the balance as negotiations continue Tuesday

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Jonathan India (6) is safe.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Jonathan India (6) is safe. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Hope can be a dangerous thing, but it's all baseball fans have at the moment. Monday was supposed to the deadline for the owners and the Player's Association to strike a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement, or else regular season games were to be cancelled.

Well, Monday's deadline came and went and the latest reports state that Major League Baseball has pushed that cutoff point to 5 PM today. It'll be tricky for both sides to navigate through the issues that have plagued negotiations thus far, but there does seem to be a renewed sense of optimism.

For now, it'll be Reds vs. Cubs on Opening Day.

For the time being, it seems safe to assume that the Cincinnati Reds will play host to the Chicago Cubs on Opening Day which is slated for March 31st. This would no doubt come with a flurry of transactions, an accelerated spring training, and too many roster battles to count.

It appears that the designated hitter joining the National League and a revamped playoff format have already been agreed to in principle. The DH was widely expected to be accepted by both sides, and while reports suggested that the owners preferred a 14-team playoff, it appears that the two sides agreed to make it a 12-team postseason affair.

The owners and the players are still discussing core economic issues, with chief among them being the competitive balance thresholds, the league minimum salary, and the amount of money to be allocated to pre-arbitration eligible players.

As for the whirlwind of free agent signings and trades that may come to pass should a deal be struck today, I've got two words for you - buckle up. Despite a very cautious approach thus far, even the Cincinnati Reds will be involved in potential signings and trades,

The Reds still lack a proven right-handed bat in the outfield. While Nick Castellanos is still a free agent, all signs point to Cincinnati avoiding mega-deals this offseason. The front office may be just as content allowing Tyler Naquin to line up in right field and watch the trio of Nick Senzel, TJ Friedl, and Shogo Akiyama battle it out for the starting job in center field.

The Reds could be active in the trade market, however. Cincinnati has been rumored to be shopping starting pitchers Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle. Both Gray and Castillo were rumored to be of interest to teams last offseason as well.

Next. 3 Reds who are looking for redemption in 2022. dark

Until the postponement of the regular season is officially announced, Reds Country can cling to the hope that an 11th-hour deal can be agreed upon when both the owners and players meet today. If Opening Day is pushed back due to a labor dispute, it'll be a huge disaster for baseball.