Jargon hunter: Hot Stove terms explained – MLB.com

Hot Stove Tracker

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Transaction speak

“Sources”: They are the anonymous backbone of the rumor mill, and sometimes that backbone is sturdier than others. A source can be a general manager, an agent, a manager, a scout — anyone with access inside a given negotiation process. Inherently, some sources are more reputable than others, and ultimately some reporters are more reputable than others. But without sources, the Hot Stove season would be empty of so much of its intrigue.

“Kicking the tires on … “: This is a club’s internal assessment of how a player might fit on the roster and/or budget. It doesn’t mean a deal is alive and kicking, but it’s a start.

“Checking in,” “maintaining dialogue,” etc.: This is the first real reported stage of a dalliance between a club and an agent in free-agent talks or two clubs in trade talks. It means almost nothing. Most teams check in on most available players, if only as a matter of due diligence and to get a sense of current market prices.

“In talks”: If reported right, this is, believe it or not, a step up from “maintaining dialogue,” because “in talks” implies genuine discussion, a floating of numbers or player names that could actually lead to a deal being struck.

“Closing in,” “momentum toward a deal,” etc.: This is the real deal. It signals that a transaction is down to the final dotting of I’s and crossing of T’s, and the fact that it is being reported means it’s either about to become official or somebody is hoping another club swoops in at the last second with a more attractive offer.

“Luxury-tax threshold”: This is sure

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