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The Hot Stove

Definition

"The Hot Stove" refers to the Major League Baseball offseason, particularly the time around the Winter Meetings when free-agent signings and trades are most prevalent.

Origin

In the early days of baseball, Hot Stove Season referred to an actual baseball season: Hot Stove Leagues, in which MLB players would stay in shape by playing baseball in their hometowns while staying warm with actual hot stoves.

The term soon expanded to become a kind of predecessor to the water cooler -- on a cold day, fans would gather around the hot stove to discuss their favorite team.