With the move of Billy Hamilton to the OF and the trade of Didi Gregorious, the Reds are seemingly without a true shortstop prospect in the minors with the best current mainstay possibly being 2012 MLB draftee Tanner Rahier who at 18 has likely outgrown the position already has he has almost exclusively played 3B in rookie ball.
This absence leaves the Reds with a potential hole at shortstop if Cozart either gets hurt, becomes ineffective, or is pushed to a utility role. I suppose newly acquired Jason Donald can play shortstop if needed but he hasn't proven to be anything more than a role player so far in his career. Maybe he can become the next Brandon Phillips, another Cleveland acquisition who they gave up on, but at age 28 that is doubful. So, what should they do?
In my opinion, it might be smart for the Reds to invest in signing Cuban defector shortstop Aledmis Diaz. The Cuban National team member defected this past summer and will soon to be 23 at which point he will not be subject to the new international signee rules and will be able to sign with the team of his choice. Diaz is stated to have an advanced approach but might need some time to get accustomed to MLB baseball (brief scouting report below).
Diaz additionally played on the same team as current Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who defected in 2009. With the recent Reds movements, signing someone as talented as Diaz fills an organizational need and makes sense as long as he doesn't break the budget. Installing Diaz in AA would be a boon to the Reds and a worthwhile insurance policy for the future that could pay large dividends.
"Diaz, 22, was playing with the Cuban National team when he defected last summer and had played in Cuba’s premier league, Serie Nacional, since 2007. Regarded as the more advanced player, comparatively, the 6’1", 185-pound shortstop has a projectable bat with power potential, as well as solid range and a strong arm."