Red Sox make a play in Panama, sign three amateur free agents highlighted by shortstop Javier Guerra

July 03, 2012 - 6:01 pm

The Red Sox have made no more than occasional forays into the talent pool in Panama in past years, but in 2012, players from Mariano Rivera's homeland have been at the heart of the team's early signings. In addition to Pablo Urena, a 17-year-old catcher whom the team signed earlier this summer, the team has now added three more players from Panama, according to a major league source. They are: Javier Guerra, SS, 16 years old Guerra might prove the prize of the group. The Sox believe that he has the defensive ability and athleticism to be a true shortstop going forward who has a good tempo and advanced feel for the game, allowing him to play with a maturity beyond his years. The team was also impressed with his line-drive left-handed stroke, particularly after seeing him hold his own against left-handed pitchers during workouts. He agreed to terms on Monday. Gregori Titts, OF, 17 years old Titts is an outfielder who can fly, and he is described as having off-the-charts makeup. He signed with the Sox earlier this summer. Luis Ramos, LHP, 17 years old Ramos, who just turned 17 in June, currently throws in the mid-80s, but he is highly projectable. He has a lean, broad-shouldered frame that makes it easy to forecast a velocity bump. Like Titts, his deal was done before July 2. Additionally, as previously reported, the team has signed Jose Almonte for $610,000 and expects that he will soon be able to start pitching this summer at its Dominican Academy. And, Taiwanese shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin, whose $2.05 million signing became official last week, has cleared the standard MLB investigation and is on the roster of the Rookie Level GCL Red Sox.