If the Boston Red Sox really are interested in trading for ace Roy Halladay, Jays’ general manager Alex Anthopoulos isn’t saying.

As the general managers’ meetings opened yesterday in Chicago, rumours about a future destination for Halladay, a free agent after 2010, surfaced again. Boston radio station WEEI reported on its website yesterday that even though the Jays are contemplating keeping Halladay, the pitcher has identified the Red Sox as a team to which he would accept a trade.

Halladay, who has won 148 games in 12 seasons with the Jays, has a no-trade clause in his contract and is scheduled to make $15.75 million US?in 2010, the final year of his deal.

After his first day at the GM meetings, Anthopoulos said he had touched base with 27 of other 29 general managers present at the Chicago Airport Hilton, but wouldn’t reveal if any of them had inquired about Halladay.

And he doesn’t plan to.

“(Discussing potential trades) makes it much more difficult to do my job,” he said. “The more quiet we can keep this, the easier it is ... we’re going to do our best to keep it quiet.”

Anthopoulos’ commitment to keeping quiet on Halladay marks a stark contrast with his predecessor, J.P. Ricciardi, who helped spawn a month’s worth of trade speculation when he told several U.S. outlets in July that the Jays would listen to trade offers for Halladay.

That strategy led to plenty of rumours — including one that had Halladay going to the Sox in exchange for Clay Buchholz — but no results.

But even if Anthopoulos isn’t discussing details with the media now, the team’s desire to move Halladay is hardly a secret. As trade rumours trailed him throughout the summer Halladay maintained that he loved playing in Toronto, but his focus for the future was playing for a contender.

And Anthopoulos himself acknowledged in a weekend conference call that in a recent conversation with Halladay, the pitcher “stressed that his timeline for winning and ours may not mesh.”

Meanwhile, as the first-year general manager moves deeper into the first season of the Blue Jays “building” project, he also must decide whether to retain a group of popular but aging free agents.

Last Friday, infielders Marco Scutaro and John McDonald formally filed for free agency. Catcher Rod Barajas filed for free agency yesterday.

“In a vacuum I’d like to have all of them back, but it might not be best for the team in terms of the alternatives that are out there,” Anthopoulos said.

Designated hitter Kevin Millar also filed for free agency last week.

Roster moves
The Jays added two players to their 40-man roster yesterday, selecting first baseman Brian Dopirak’s contract from their triple-A farm club in Las Vegas, and claiming infielder Mike McCoy on waivers from the Colorado Rockies.