*Released Robbie Grossman. Grossman was acquired in the Wandy trade on July 24, 2012 with Grossman, Colton Cain and Rudy Owens coming over from Pittsburgh. Grossman, who rejected (or his agent rejected, or it fell apart, or whatever) a contract extension reportedly for 6yrs/$13.5m back in March 2014, never could put it together for the Astros. After a somewhat promising 2013 season in which he hit .268/.332/.770, Grossman got 422 plate appearances in 2014, hitting .233/.337/.333, with 105K:55BB. He got 54 plate appearances in 2015, hitting .143/.222/.245.
*Released Luis Cruz. Cruz, a 25-year old LHP, was the Astros' 9th Round pick in the 2008 draft. In eight minor-league seasons, Cruz had a 49-42 record with a 4.40 ERA/1.34 WHIP. He spent all of 2015 in Fresno, throwing 116IP, 119H/55ER, 93K:52BB.
*Traded Jonathan Villar to the Milwaukee Stearns for Cy
So who is this Cy Sneed? The 23-year old Sneed was the Brewers' 3rd Round pick in 2014 out of Dallas Baptist University. He's a big drink of water - 6'4" 185lbs - and had a pretty great 2015 season. In 139.1IP between the Midwest League and High-A, Sneed allowed 129H/40ER, with 122K:28BB. This is Good.
Basically, the Astros got a pitcher who performed very well in exchange for a player with no position and some bad memories, and cleared three spots off the 40-Man Roster (which now sits at 34) in advance of the Rule 5 draft and any potential 25-Man additions.
Further Cy Sneed reading:
Brew Crew Ball - June 2014