The Baseball Winter Meetings are an annual event, held each December, attended by representatives from all 30 Major League Baseball organizations, more than 160 minor league baseball teams, various league offices, companies associated with baseball and guests from international baseball-playing countries for four days during the offseason. This is a time when many offseason trades and transactions are completed. The Rule 5 draft, where players who are not on a team's 40-man roster can be drafted by another team, is held on the shortened last day of the meetings. It is generally considered the culmination of baseball's "hot stove league."
The tradition of baseball holding offseason meetings during December dates back as far as 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 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 2012, the 111th annual Baseball Winter Meetings were held in Nashville, Tennessee from December 3 – 6. For 2013, the Winter Meetings are scheduled to be held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida from December 9 – 12.
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