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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 2014, the 113th annual Baseball Winter Meetings will be held from December 7 to the 11th in San Diego, California at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. In 2012, the Winter Meetings were held in Nashville, Tennessee from December 3 – 6. The 2013 Winter Meetings were in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, beginning on December 9 and ending on December 12.
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