Franchise Timeline



In their 50th season in the Upper Midwest, the Minnesota Twins sat 4.5 games out of first, in third place, and just three games over .500 at the start of the second half, only to claim their sixth American League Central division title in nine years. Minnesota closed the year with a 48-26 second-half showing, including a 10-3 record against the second-place Chicago White Sox and a three-game sweep in Chicago from September 14-16 to lock down the division crown. The Twins survived injuries to key players, with closer Joe Nathan lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery and Justin Morneau missing most of the season's final three months because of a concussion. Jon Rauch and non-waiver trade deadline pickup Matt Capps picked up the slack at the closer's spot with 37 combined saves, while free agent slugger Jim Thome helped lessen the impact of Morneau's absence. Thome hit 25 home runs in just 340 plate appearances, including a walk-off blast against White Sox All-Star Matt Thornton on August 17 at Target Field.

Francisco Liriano asserted himself back at the top of the Minnesota rotation with a 14-10 record and 3.62 ERA, earning the AL's Comeback Player of the Year award. Paralleling Liriano, Carl Pavano went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA. Rookie Danny Valencia took control at third base with a .311 average, seven home runs and 40 RBI, while Delmon Young hit .298 with 46 doubles, 21 home runs and 112 RBI. Joe Mauer turned in another strong campaign, hitting .327 with 43 doubles, nine home runs and 75 RBI. Unfortunately for the Twins, their season ended as it did in 2009 in the AL Division Series, as they were swept by the New York Yankees. Nevertheless, Gardenhire was named AL Manager of the Year, after being a five-time runner up.

In addition to the Twins’ success on the field, the club’s season was set on the perfect backdrop of a brand-new ballpark. Target Field – the Twins’ first outdoor home since departing Metropolitan Stadium in 1981 – opened on April 12, 2010. Located in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis, the ballpark was constructed as a perfect dichotomy of Minnesotans’ cosmopolitan lifestyle rooted in nature and the outdoors. The Twins set a franchise attendance record that season, with 3,223,640 fans through the turnstiles that season, in perfect celebration of their now home.


After making the Postseason the previous two seasons, the Twins struggled in 2011, losing 99 games and finishing with the worst record in the American League. Injuries played a large role in the season, as key players including Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Denard Span missed large periods of time with various ailments.

Despite the disappointing finish, the season had several bright spots. Southpaw Francisco Liriano tossed the fifth no-hitter in Twins history on May 3, besting the Chicago White Sox in Chicago. Legendary slugger Jim Thome joined the 600 home run club with a two-homer game against the Detroit Tigers on August 15. Additionally, closer Joe Nathan ended the season with 260 saves in a Twins uniform, surpassing Rick Aguilera (254) for tops in club history.


The Twins improved upon their win total from the prior season in 2012, going 66-96, but nevertheless finished with the worst record in the American League for a second consecutive season. The rotation was the main culprit, as Minnesota starters combined for the second-worst ERA in the majors. Joe Mauer was the club’s lone All-Star, as he returned to form after battling injuries in '11 and hit .319 with 31 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 85 RBI and an AL-best .416 on-base percentage. Josh Willingham had a monster first year with the Twins, hitting 35 homers to win his first career Silver Slugger Award. After the season, Terry Ryan shed the interim label from his title as general manager, taking over full-time in place of Bill Smith.


The Twins posted the same record (66-96) in 2013 as they did in 2012 but managed to finish one spot up in the American League Central division standings, finishing in fourth. The club’s pitching and hitting both struggled; Twins hitters struck out 1,430 times, a single-season club record, while the pitching staff’s 4.55 ERA was second worst in the AL. Joe Mauer was one of Minnesota’s two All-Stars and won his fifth (and final) Silver Slugger Award, hitting .324 with 35 doubles, 11 home runs, 47 RBI and a .404 on-base percentage. Glen Perkins, the Twins’ other Midsummer Classic representative, had another strong season out of the bullpen, going 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA and a career-high 36 saves in 61 relief appearances.


The Twins entered the 2014 season with high hopes thanks to several offseason acquisitions, but the club went 70-92 en route to a fifth-place finish in the American League Central division, their fourth-straight 90-loss campaign.

The club signed Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey in the offseason; despite this, Twins starters finished with the worst ERA in the majors. Nolasco struggled and Pelfrey made just five starts before undergoing season-ending surgery, but Hughes emerged as one of the best starters in the AL and set the record for the best single-season strikeout-to-walk ratio by a starter in major league history. Additional bright spots came from young players such as Danny Santana and Kennys Vargas, who were two of the top rookies in the AL. The offense also got going after the All-Star Break and the Twins finished seventh in the majors in runs scored.

The Twins hosted the All-Star Game at Target Field; homegrown closer Glen Perkins got the save in the AL’s 5-3 win, with his teammate Kurt Suzuki behind the plate.

The end of the season brought a dramatic change to the organization, as manager Ron Gardenhire was fired on September 29; the Twins hired Hall of Famer and St. Paul native Paul Molitor to replace him on November 3.


Twins remained in Postseason contention until the penultimate day of the season, finishing 83-79 for their first winning campaign since 2010 in new manager Paul Molitor’s first year at the helm. The season didn't start off well, as right-hander Ervin Santana, signed as a free agent in the offseason, was suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The suspension was announced three days before the start of the season, forcing the Twins to reshuffle their rotation and reinserting Mike Pelfrey.

Minnesota got off to a 1-6 start, but shook it off with a 20-7 May, the club’s best record in a single month since 1991. The return of veteran outfielder Torii Hunter was vital to the club's success, as he hit 22 home runs and drove in 81 runs, while also leading a clubhouse that had dance parties after home wins. Second baseman Brian Dozier flexed his muscles, hitting 28 homers in 157 games and making his first career All-Star Game appearance , homering in the American League's victory. Closer Glen Perkins was also an All-Star for the third-straight year, but couldn't stay healthy in the second half. Reliever Kevin Jepsen, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays at the Trade Deadline, filled the void with a strong second half as Minnesota's closer.

The 2015 season will also be remembered for the debuts of highly-touted Twins rookies such as Miguel Sanó, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler. Sanó made an instant impact as the designated hitter after being called up on July 2, hitting 18 homers in 52 games to finish third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Rosario was also a Rookie of the Year candidate, reaching double digits in homers, doubles, triples, stolen bases and outfield assists. Buxton,'s No. 1 overall prospect at one point, struggled in his first major league stint, while Kepler only appeared in the final games of the year as a September call-up.


The Twins had high hopes after their surprising 2015 season but lost the first nine games of the season and never recovered, ending the year with a 59-103 record – worst in the majors and the worst single-season mark in club history.

The disappointing season led to long-time general manager Terry Ryan getting dismissed shortly after the All-Star Break in July. Pitching was the club’s biggest downfall, as the club finished with the worst ERA in baseball. But there were bright spots, especially second baseman Brian Dozier, who had 35 doubles, 42 homers, 99 RBI and 104 runs scored; he also broke the American League record for homers by a second baseman.

Right-hander Ervin Santana was far and away Minnesota's best starter, posting a 3.38 ERA in 30 outings. Closer Glen Perkins made two appearances before undergoing season-ending labrum surgery, while Brandon Kintzler filled in as closer in the second half, recording 17 saves on the season. Max Kepler had a strong rookie year, while the power-hitting ByungHo Park had a tough time transitioning from Korea and rookie starter José Berríos struggled in his first taste of the majors. Byron Buxton had a tough time offensively early in the year before breaking out after being called up again in September, hitting nine homers over his final 29 games.

The Twins made another dramatic change in the offseason, shaking up their baseball operations department after Ryan’s midseason departure. With the help of search firm Korn Ferry, the Twins hired Derek Falvey as the club's chief baseball officer. Falvey, who was an assistant general manager for Cleveland, wasn't officially introduced until after the World Series because of Cleveland's run to the Fall Classic. Falvey added former Texas Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine as his general manager, and both were officially introduced on November 7.


The Twins were one of the biggest surprises in baseball in 2017, becoming the first team to make the Postseason after losing more than 100 games in the previous year. The Twins went 85-77 en route to earning the second American League Wild Card berth. They lost the Wild Card Game to the New York Yankees in New York, but it was still a successful season given the expectations coming into the year. Manager Paul Molitor was named the AL Manager of the Year and signed a three-year extension after the season, for his role in turning the Twins around.

Minnesota relied on a young core and key veterans such as Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Ervin Santana and Matt Belisle. Byron Buxton had his breakout season, winning both the Gold Glove in centerfield and the Platinum Glove as the best defensive player in the AL. The pitching staff, led by Santana, was improved, as José Berríos was electric in his second season and Kyle Gibson had a strong second half. The defense was a strong point too, with Dozier also winning his first Gold Glove.


The Twins had high hopes in 2018 after their run to the American League Wild Card Game in 2017, but the club struggled to live up to expectations and finished with a 78-84 record, good for second place in the AL Central division.

Several injuries to key players such as Byron Buxton, Miguel Sanó and Ervin Santana put Minnesota out of contention by the non-waiver Trade Deadline; this led the club to deal veterans Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Ryan Pressly, Lance Lynn and Zach Duke for prospects. It was still a strong year for starting pitchers Kyle Gibson and José Berríos, while leftfielder Eddie Rosario experienced a breakout season. It was also the final year for Joe Mauer, who finished his illustrious 15-year career with a memorable final day of the season, catching one pitch and hitting an opposite-field double in his final at-bat. Mauer finished his career second in wins above replacement in Twins history, behind only Hall of Famer Rod Carew.

Manager Paul Molitor was dismissed after the season; Rocco Baldelli was hired as his replacement, signaling a new era for the Twins.


The 2019 Twins season will be remembered for many things, among them the club’s 101-61 record – the second-most wins in franchise history, behind only the 102-60 1965 club – and first American League Central division title since 2010.

The Twins also surprised the baseball world with a surge of early home runs at the beginning of the season. By the end of the year, they had forged their power-packed identity behind first-year manager Rocco Baldelli as the "Bomba Squad," as coined by leftfielder Eddie Rosario, and forced the baseball world to take notice by setting a new major league record with 307 homers.

Despite their disappointment in 2018, the Twins entered their '19 campaign with confidence that their young core of hitters, anchored by long-term extensions to right fielder Max Kepler and shortstop Jorge Polanco, would power a surge back into contention – but nobody could have imagined the fireworks to come. That was thanks to career years from Kepler, Rosario, Miguel Sanó and Byron Buxton; the breakouts of catcher Mitch Garver and rookie second baseman Luis Arraez; and the signing of the most impactful free agent in the club's recent history in Nelson Cruz. Records fell left and right. Not only did the 307 homers set a major league record, but they also set the all-time marks for most players with 20 or more home runs (eight) and games in a season with five or more homers as a team (11). They also set club records in runs (939), extra-base hits (648), total bases (2,832) and slugging percentage (.494).

Though the Twins lost the American League Division Series in a three-game sweep to the New York Yankees, the success was enough to earn Baldelli the AL Manager of the Year, making him the second AL skipper to win the honor in his first full season as a manager.