A lengthy article on Mike Napoli written by Alex Speier of WEEI not only provides excellent insight about the new power hitter in the middle of the Boston Red Sox lineup, but also his agent. Napoli’s agent, Brian Grieper, is a South Florida-based baseball agent who is part of the growing team at Paragon Sports International. Speier’s article goes back as far as Grieper’s early twenties, when he was a student at the University of Miami and hustling as a law student to build up his practice.
In fact, according to the article, it was while Grieper was in law school that he discovered Napoli, a product of Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Grieper overcame the disadvantage of being a rather young agent and gained the trust of Napoli’s parents. Soon thereafter, he became Napoli’s advisor and the rest is history.
Napoli seems to be very fond of Grieper. One of the best testimonials for an agent that I have ever read is embedded within the article. Napoli said,
“He’s one of my best friends. We’ve built a relationship over the years. He’s a guy who’s out for my best interests. I felt that. I’m a pretty good reader of people. He’s a good person. I’m loyal to people who are good to me. He’s been there for me my whole career.”
The bulk of the article concerns Napoli’s projected 3-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox and the major speed bump of a medical diagnosis of avascular necrosis in Napoli’s hips. Grieper was quoted saying, “Honestly, there were times when he and I were on the phone those first couple of weeks, that first week, where I definitely shed some tears.” And Napoli said, “It was crazy. There was tough times, definitely. I was definitely frustrated at times, but the things [Grieper] did for me — he went to extreme lengths to find out what was in my best interests not just from a baseball standpoint but for my life, for my future and just normal life.”
After all the stress and anxiety, the Red Sox, Napoli and Grieper agreed to a 1-year, $5 million guaranteed deal with the possibility of earning a total of $13 million if Napoli stays healthy. “[Grieper] has done everything possible to get the most for me in my best interests,” said Napoli to Speier. “It definitely feels good to pay someone who’s looking out for you and your best interests.”