Although the 1995 Minnesota Twins were separated from a world championship by only four years, it seemed like eons. Because of the 1994 Major League Baseball strike, the season got off to a late start. However, it did not end soon enough, as the team finished with a 56-88 record and in last place in its division. The team found it impossible to compete against the runaway Cleveland Indians who won 100 games despite the short season and finished 44 games ahead of the Twins. By July, the team was trading away its veterans in a fire sale. Manager Tom Kelly might have preferred that the strike had continued.
Only three players had particularly solid years: second baseman Chuck Knoblauch and outfielders Kirby Puckett and Marty Cordova. Puckett did not know that this would be his last year, but it was a solid one. He would be the team's lone all-star representative. Cordova had a great year for a rookie, and won the Rookie of the Year award.
The starting rotation was uncertain. Surprisingly, the only certainty was that rookie Brad Radke would get the ball every fifth game. He made 28 starts, but the other pitchers were either injury-prone, inconsistent, or traded by the end of the year, with Kevin Tapani making 20 starts, Mike Trombley 18, Frank Rodriguez 16, Scott Erickson 15, and Jose Parra 12. Closer Rick Aguilera would also be traded midway through the season. He earned 12 saves while Dave Stevens earned 10. Aguilera, Rich Robertson, and Mark Guthrie were the only regular pitchers with ERAs under 5.
Like most of Tom Kelly's teams, the defense was capable. Matt Walbeck was the starting catcher, backed up by Matt Merullo. Scott Stahoviak played in 69 games at first base. Although he was not a good hitter, he had a .998 fielding percentage that year. Knoblauch capably manned second base. Scott Leius played reasonably well at third in his last year with the Twins. Pat Meares continued his decent play at shortstop in his third year with the Twins. The regular outfielders were Puckett, Cordova, and Rich Becker.
July 6, 1994: Rick Aguilera was traded by the Twins to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Frank Rodriguez and a player to be named later. The Red Sox completed the deal by sending J. J. Johnson (minors) to the Twins on October 11.