Kyle Kendrick traded to Japanese team. . .or so he thought

For about 20 minutes Saturday afternoon, Kyle Kendrick thought he had been traded to the Yomiuri Giants, a professional baseball team in Japan.

He was called into an office, where manager Charlie Manuel and assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. informed him of the news. He was handed an official termination letter that stated he had been swapped for a player named Kobayashi Iwamura and $1.5 million in cash.

After the meeting, he walked to his locker, grabbed his cell phone, and called his agent, who confirmed the deal. Later, he stood in front of the media looking like his dog had just died, saying "I don't know what to say right now."

Then, Brett Myers jumped in from the next locker and shouted, "You've been Punk'd!"

Relief washed over Kendrick's face.

"I've never seriously been so happy in my entire life," he said, as the entire Phillies clubhouse burst into laughter.

Yes, Kendrick was the victim of a well-organized prank similar to the one the club pulled on former first-round pick Wayne Gomes a decade ago. Everyone from Manuel to Amaro to Kendrick's agent was in on the plan.

"Ruben did the best job," Kendrick said later. "They called me into the office and gave me the whole spiel. Charlie did a good job too. He said, 'You have any questions for me?' But I was just in shock."

When Kendrick first was informed of the news, he thought Manuel and Amaro were joking.

But the manager and assistant GM didn't laugh.

"I thought, 'This must be real," Kendrick said.

Luckily for him, it wasn't.