he Milwaukee Brewers improved their pennant chances in the American League East tonight by acquiring pitcher Don Sutton from the Houston Astros for three undisclosed players. The Astros announced the trade during their game with the New York Mets.

The Associated Press and United Press International initially reported the Astros were receiving minor-league players. The AP later said major leaguers may be involved.

Later, quoting Milwaukee General Manager Harry Dalton, the AP reported he refused to confirm the three players are minor leaguers. UPI quoted Dalton as confirming the three are minor leaguers and as saying the names of the players were not announced because their seasons are not over.

The Milwaukee Journal quoted General Manager Al Rosen of the Astros as saying he considers the three as minor leaguers.

In New York, when asked by the AP, a spokesman for the Astros said no cash was involved.

Sutton, 37, is scheduled to report to the Brewers Tuesday. He has a 13-8 record this season and 253 career victories. He was signed to a $900,000 annual contract as a free agent by Houston in 1980 after 15 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but had asked the Astros to trade him.

"We're very much interested in him, not just for 1982, but beyond that," said Dalton. He said Sutton has a multiyear contract that runs beyond the 1983 season.