Matt Garza high on Andrew Friedman

Updated: August 22, 2011, 12:48 AM ET
By Chris Silva | Special to ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Matt Garza gave his former boss, Tampa Bay Rays' general manager Andrew Friedman, a ringing endorsement for the Cubs' front office vacancy following Chicago's 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

Friedman has been one of the names mentioned in speculation as a possible replacement for former general manager Jim Hendry, who's firing the team announced Friday.

Garza spent three seasons playing for Friedman's Rays, including the team's 2008 run to the World Series. He understands why Friedman would be a rumored candidate in Chicago.

"He flipped the Tampa team around in two-plus years," Garza said. "Yeah, we went on a great run in 2008 but it's not like it was a one-year wonder. The following season we still had a winning record and last season we won the division once again and this year, you know, I don't know how he does it. But year in and year out he can put together a bullpen and put together the pieces he needs with the type of market he has. I think he'd be great here but like I said that's just a biased opinion. I know there's plenty of great GMs out there who would give for this gig. ... I think it's going to be a fun couple months."

Friedman left a lucrative career in finance to become the Rays' director of baseball development from 2004-05. He was promoted to general manager at the age of 28 following the 2005 season. Twenty of the 27 players eligible for the Rays' postseason roster in 2008 were acquired after his arrival. The Rays won the franchise's second American League East pennant last season.

Chris Silva contributes to ESPNChicago.com.

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