Overlooked in the latest round of hand-wringing over the future of Roy Halladay is the fact that nothing has changed between the Toronto Blue Jays and their ace.

Club president and CEO Paul Beeston stirred up a hornet's nest over the weekend by telling the New York Post that Halladay, "is not inclined to sign with us."

The innocuous comment generated plenty of reaction but it was nothing new, and nothing the public hasn't known since July, when former general manager J.P. Ricciardi revealed that Halladay wouldn't sign an extension before his contract expires next fall.

So Beeston was rightly left scratching his head Monday as to why his words were being treated as big news. The status of things is the same now as it was then.

"There is nothing that has changed whatsoever," Beeston said Monday. "We'd love to have him here for the very long term but at the very end of the day, in his mind, until he sees that we're getting to the post-season, the post-season will trump any type of contract.

"We respect him for that. ... There's no animosity. He's just not inclined to sign with us."

If that doesn't sound familiar to Blue Jays fans, it should. Both Ricciardi and Halladay himself said the same thing over and over during the summer.

Most pointedly, Ricciardi said the following on July 23, amid the height of trade speculation surrounding Halladay: "I think I made this clear real early that Doc wanted to test the free agent market. That's the whole reason we're going down this avenue. This has been a joint venture. This hasn't been like we're out there talking and Doc's not included in the process. He's obviously expressed an interest that when free agency comes up next time, he's going to at least be attracted to trying to see what it is."

A day later, Halladay had this to say about signing an extension: "For me it's a wait and see. ... I don't have a crystal ball, I don't know 100 per cent what's going to lay in store here. Knowing that window is getting shorter to have a chance to win, I want to make that decision knowing everything that's out there and not having to predict the future."

In case that wasn't clear enough, on July 13 Halladay said: "There's a point in your career where you know you need to take a chance and try and win. I've always hoped that's going to be Toronto and I've believed in what we've done, it could still be, but I think at this point I'm ready to take a chance of trying to win."

A day later he added: "Everything has to go right (for the Blue Jays to win). It's just so hard for any of us to say it's going to be this year or this year or this year."

So Halladay and the Blue Jays have been heading for a split since then, at least, and new GM Alex Anthopoulos won't be able to build a winner quickly enough to convince to right-hander to stay before he hits free agency.

Halladay hasn't officially asked to be traded, but it's clear he wouldn't reject a deal to a team he believes will be a winner. He has a no-trade clause and therefore controls his own destiny, so it would be foolish to think he hasn't given the Blue Jays his blessing to seek out a deal.

"People can have the perception that he wants to be traded," said Beeston. "He wants to be in the post-season."

The better issue for Blue Jays fans to discuss is whether it would have made more sense to deal Halladay last off-season, when he still had two seasons remaining on his contract.

No doubt the return would have been better at that time than it will be now.

Beeston's take on that?

"I guess we thought we maybe would be a little better (in 2009) and hopefully be better in 2010 and we would be in position to deliver the part of the bargain which he wants, which is to win," he said. "At that time I don't think you would do it, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to have done it because I certainly wouldn't have given up on 2009 and 2010 at that time."

Now that's something for Blue Jays fans to mull over.