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Breakfast and Baseball: Tim Stauffer, Twins prospects, Winter Caravan, Winter Meltdown

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It's Wednesday morning so here's some Twins baseball stuff.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

I was trying to think of a soundtrack for this morning's link-tastic baseball-related breakfast, but instead I noticed a new Honest Trailers video. So you can watch that instead, if you want. Fair warning: spoilers. If you plan on watching Gone Girl, don't watch this trailer.

Tim Stauffer could make some bank

Mike Berardino has a source that says Stauffer's contract includes "performance bonuses related to his workload." Wouldn't it be fun if all players were paid that way? Imagine the financial carnage!

Here's more from Mike:

According to a person with direct knowledge, Stauffer’s one-year deal includes up to $1.75 million in performance bonuses related to his workload. With 55 mound appearances, Stauffer’s deal would max out at $3.95 million — or just $700,000 less than two-time all-star closer Glen Perkins will earn this season.

Stauffer’s maximum pay, which could be an indication of how the Twins plan to use him, would amount to $350,000 more than the $3.6 million option on Jared Burton’s contract that the Twins bought out in October for $200,000.

Specifically, it looks like Stauffer will get $250,000 for his 15th, 18th, 21st, 24th, and 27th appearances, $100,000 for his 45th, and another $250,000 for his 55th appearance. Those early incentives look like bonuses you'd hand to a starter; it's hard to imagine signing a guy you expect to make 40 to 50 appearances and then hand out extra cash for reaching appearances equaling less than half of that.

Stauffer's value looks like it would be maximized in shorter outings, but if the Twins do ask him to spot start or step into a long relief role, then all of the guess work we've been doing on the makeup of the pitching staff takes two steps backward because it would have a knock-on affect on guys like Mike Pelfrey, Tommy Milone, or one of any number of the bullpen's bubble candidates.

To a certain extent, the structure of the performance bonuses lends credence to a theory that the Twins could cut ties earlier rather than later with Stauffer if things aren't going the way they'd like them to go. No team wants to eat $2.2 million for no reason, but it's better than keeping on an ineffective pitcher who - as a reliever - could rack up another $1.25 million pretty quickly.

Credit the Twins for being creative with how they want to stack incentives for players they like, I suppose. But it's interesting.

Which Twins prospects could make an impact in 2015?

MLB.com's Bernie Pleskoff, who we recently noted had ranked Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano in his top ten prospects for 2015, is running a series looking at which prospects could help their teams at some point this season. For Minnesota he earmarks both players, but also has notes on Alex Meyer, Trevor May, Eddie Rosario, and J.R. Graham.

The Winter Caravan is rolling

The Caravan kicked off on Monday in the Cities, carrying on through areas of Minnesota and Iowa. Folks in my old neck of the woods, Fargo, had Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Dan Gladden, and Dave St. Peter yesterday.

Glen Perkins, Paul Molitor, Gene Glynn, and Kris Atteberry are in Iowa Falls and Mason City, Iowa, today, and then will hit a couple towns in Minnesota tomorrow. Terry Ryan will join the group in Redwing for the evening appearance.

Gibson, Thielbar, and Gladden will be in Grand Forks, Crookston, and Bemidji today, before carrying on to Virginia, Ely, and Duluth tomorrow. Follow the link above for times and locations, and if you have the time I suggest heading out (even taking the kids, if you can) and getting a glimpse of spring. Because baseball means spring, even if it's the middle of January.

Winter Meltdown details

Our friends at Twins Daily have revealed the details for their Winter Meltdown event. Jacque Jones, Tim Laudner, and Dave St. Peter will be in attendance, and you can get your ticket for $25.00 (it jumps to $30.00 from 8:00am this morning). It's just ten days away, at Mason's from 5:00 to 8:00pm. Included in the cost of your ticket will be a Q&A with the three guests, two free beers from local craft brewery 612 Brew, drinks specials from Dobel Tequila and Three Olives Vodka, and a Winter Meltdown pint glass. If I wasn't out of the country, I'd absolutely be there.

That's it for now. Be sure to check out Bryz's article on the Twins' recent history of short-term failures, and we'll see you back here later for more Twins stuff.