The Baseball Winter Meetings are an annual event, held each December, in which representatives of all 30 Major League Baseball teams and over 160 minor league baseball teams convene for four days to discuss league business and to conduct off-season trades and transactions. Attendees include league executives, club owners, general managers, team scouts, visitors from baseball-playing countries, trade show exhibitors, and people seeking employment with minor league organizations. The Rule 5 Draft, in which minor league players who are not on a team's 40-man roster can be drafted by a major league team, is held on the last day of the meetings.
In 2014, the 113th annual Baseball Winter Meetings were held from December 7 to 11 in San Diego, California at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The 2015 Winter Meetings are scheduled for December 3 to 6 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The tradition of baseball holding off-season meetings during December dates back to 1876, the first offseason of the National League. At the 1876 meetings, William Hulbert was selected to be the league's president, and two teams (the New York Mutuals and Philadelphia Athletics) were expelled from the league for failing to complete their 1876 schedule.
Since 1951, the "King of Baseball" title has been awarded to a minor league veteran at the banquet at the Baseball Winter Meetings. League meetings, the Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities Job Fair, and The Baseball Trade Show are some of the other highlights of the event. In addition, several events associated with the Hall of Fame take place at the Winter Meetings:
- The voting bodies that superseded the Veterans Committee, which are now the only bodies that elect long-retired players and non-playing personnel, meet and vote.
- The winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting is announced.
- The Baseball Writers' Association of America announces the recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for excellence in baseball writing. Both the Frick and Spink Awards are presented as part of the Hall of Fame's annual induction festivities.
- The Scout of the Year award is presented in a special reception.
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- "Ford C. Frick Award". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
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