Wood announced his retirement on Friday after making one final appearance for the Cubs at Wrigley Field, striking out the only batter he faced in a 3-2 loss to the White Sox.
"I was a teammate of his; I loved playing with him," Girardi said. "He loved to play the game, he really did. I managed him [in 2010], and he did a tremendous job for us, he really did. He gave our bullpen a huge boost when he got here and pitched extremely well for us."
Wood will be remembered as a Cub, but his brief stay in New York was effective. He was acquired on July 31, 2010, from the Indians for two Minor Leaguers and was 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA in 24 appearances for the Yankees, also making seven appearances in the postseason.
The Yankees were interested in keeping Wood after the 2010 season, but he accepted a discounted contract offer to return to the Cubs.
"He's been a great player for a long time, and I'm sure it's a difficult day for him," Girardi said. "But he came up a Cub, and I'm sure if he was going to retire, that's where he'd want to do it."