HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Cy Sneed from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infielder Jonathan Villar. Additionally, the Astros have given left-handed pitcher Luis Cruz and outfielder Robbie Grossman their unconditional release. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
Sneed, 23, made 26 appearances (23 starts) across two levels of Class A ball in the Brewers organization in 2015, posting a 2.58 ERA (40ER/139.1IP) with a complete game and a save. Sneed began his season with Class A Wisconsin and was named a Midwest League Midseason All-Star before a promotion to Class A Advanced Brevard County. While with Brevard County, Sneed went 3-4 with a 2.47 ERA (17ER/62IP) in 11 starts. This season marked Sneed's second as a professional, as he was originally a third-round pick by Milwaukee out of Dallas Baptist University in the June 2014 draft.
Villar, 24, played in 53 games with the Astros in 2015, hitting .284 (33x116) with seven doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI. He has appeared in 198 games for Houston over the last three seasons, since making his Major League debut with the club in 2013. Villar was originally acquired by Houston from Philadelphia in 2010 along with outfielder Anthony Gose and left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ in exchange for right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt.
Cruz, 25, appeared in 28 games (19 starts) at Triple A Fresno in 2015, going 7-5 with a 4.27 ERA (55ER/116IP) and 93 strikeouts. He was originally drafted by Houston in the ninth round of the 2008 draft.
Grossman, 26, played in 24 games with the Astros in 2015, but spent the majority of the season at Triple A Fresno. He was acquired by the Astros from the Pirates along with left-handed pitcher Colton Cain and left-handed pitcher Rudy Owens in exchange for left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez on July 24, 2012.
Following today's moves, the Astros 40-man roster now stands at 34.