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Gerald Laird arrested in Phoenix on Wednesday

Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and his brother -- Yankees prospect Brandon Laird -- were arrested Wednesday for assault at a Phoenix Suns game.

The Associated Press reports:

Police said arena security previously contacted the group of men about their loud behavior. Two of the men were allowed back into the lounge after a conversation with security, but a melee broke out shortly afterward and the Laird brothers allegedly assaulted the security guards.

No further information was available.

There were some rumblings earlier in the offseason that the Tigers might want to trade Laird, as he has value as a defensive catcher but is likely due a raise on the $2.8 million salary he earned for 2009. While some speculate Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski might intensify his attempts to trade Laird, I suspect this won't have an impact on that decision. I don't think the Tigers were really trying that hard to trade Laird, as he can serve as a mentor and platoon partner for rookie catcher Alex Avila.

It certainly does not help the Tigers to have more publicity of this nature, but I don't think you let it affect how you build your ballclub. And I don't think Dombrowski has a track record of moving players due to criminal allegations. (The trading of Roman Colon after he punched a Toledo teammate being a notable exception.)

Laird is not currently under contract with the Tigers, but he is arbitration eligible for 2010 and a free agent following that season.