The Texas Rangers enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in 2004 by winning 89 games and finishing just three games back in the American League West. Buck Showalter engineered the Texas renaissance and was named AL Manager of the Year. The Texas Rangers had five All-Stars: shortstop Michael Young, third baseman Hank Blalock, second baseman Alfonso Soriano, starting pitcher Kenny Rogers and closer Francisco Cordero. First baseman Mark Teixeira and Soriano picked up Silver Slugger Awards and Rogers earned his third Gold Glove. The Texas Rangers were in first place as late as Aug. 5, thanks largely to the dynamic offense provided by their infield and the solid work of the bullpen. Each member of the starting infield -- Teixeira, Soriano, Young and Blalock -- went past the 20-homer plateau. The Texas Rangers were only the second club in Major League history to have all four starting infielders record more than 20 homers.
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig approves the trade of Alex Rodriguez to the New York Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (minor league shortstop Joaquin Arias.)
Alfonso Soriano is named the 2004 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player after going 2-for-3 with a three-run home run. He becomes the first Major League player to win the Top Vote-Getter award and the All-Star Game's MVP award in the same summer.