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Astros trade Jonathan Villar to Brewers for pitcher Cy Sneed; release Cruz and Grossman

Bob will need to find a new branch home.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The relationship between Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and former Astros assistant general manager David Stearns, now the general manager of the Milwaukee  Brewers, has another chapter. Today the Astros and Brewers made a trade to free up a large chunk of the Houston's 40-man roster.

The Astros have traded infielder Jonathan Villar to Milwaukee for right-handed pitcher Cy Sneed. In conjunction with this move, Houston has given left-handed pitcher Luis Cruz and outfielder Robbie Grossman their unconditional release.

Sneed, 23, was drafted in the third round of the MLB Draft out Dallas Baptist by the Brewers. In 2015, he posted a  6-11 record with 2.58 ERA in 26 games (24 starts) with 122 strikeouts and 28 walks in between the Brewers' two Single-A teams.

Villar at times looked like a major league starter, settling into a major league utility player role off the bench -- he batted .284 (33x116) with seven doubles, two home runs, seven stolen bases, and a 106 OPS+. Villar constantly battled issues with focus on the field while making routine plays that cut into is playing time in 2014 and 2015.

Cruz had been in the Astros system since 2008, reaching Triple A Fresno in 2015. Cruz was 7-5 ith 4.27 ERA in 28 games last season.

Robbie Grossman was on the players the Astros wanted to see more time from over J.D. Martinez. Grossman showed flashes of being more than an average player but could never be constant. Grossman batted .143 (7x49) in limited time with the Astros in 2015.