When Toronto General Manager J.P. Ricciardi told viewers of “Rome Is Burning” on Wednesday that trade bait Roy Halladay was a sure thing to test the free agent market in 2010, hence the Blue Jays’ determination to deal the starter, you might’ve presumed the teflon exec had heard as much from the pitcher or his agent. If Adam Dunn liked baseball enough to read about it, he’d be laughing right now, as the Globe & Mail’s Robert MacLeod and Jeff Blair explain :

œRoy Halladay has not demanded a trade, Ricciardi said last night. œWe know what he wants and he knows what he wants. He hasn™t given us a list of teams. We™ve run teams by him to see if he has any interest in going there “ yes or no. There is no secret, hidden agenda. We™re not playing divide and conquer ¦ and, again, my gut tells me that I just don™t see anything happening.

However, speaking to reporters yesterday afternoon as he was getting on an elevator at the Rogers Centre, Ricciardi said: œI think I made this clear really early that Doc wanted to test the free-agent market. That™s the reason we™re going down this whole avenue.

Ricciardi also indicated to reporters that Halladay, who has a no-trade clause, provided a list of teams to the Blue Jays.

Halladay appeared testy after yesterday™s 5-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians when reporters approached him for comment on the impromptu interview with Ricciardi.

œI don™t want to address it, Halladay said. œI don™t even know what he [Ricciardi] said. I™ll do it after I pitch.

According to Rogers Sportsnet, Halladay™s initial reaction when approached by one of their reporters was: œThis is not good.

Ricciardi has never clearly expressed that Halladay™s desire to test free agency was behind the club™s decision to consider trade proposals. Further confusing the Jays™ motives, Blue Jays interim chief executive officer Paul Beeston suggested last week in an interview on a Toronto radio station that he intended to discuss a contract extension with the pitcher this past weekend.