CC Sabathia is happy that the Yankees are the “hated team” again.
Sabathia, appearing on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” on Thursday, was asked about the Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins last month.
“Last year we were the team that everybody loved, that feel-good story,” Sabathia said. “But getting Giancarlo just brings us back to being that hated team. That’s what we like. We want to go out there, put the best team on the field and crush everybody every game.”
The Yankees, led by young stars Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, made a surprising run to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series last season before losing to the eventual World Series champion Astros. Then they shook the baseball world by acquiring Stanton last month, trading second baseman Starlin Castro and two prospects to the Marlins.
Reigning National League MVP Stanton, who had 59 home runs and 132 RBIs, joins an already formidable lineup that features American League Rookie of the Year Judge (52 home runs), Sanchez (33 home runs) and Didi Gregorius, who hit 25 home runs in a breakout season.
Sabathia, who had a resurgent season in 2017 with 14 wins and a 3.69 ERA, agreed to return to the Yankees last month on a one-year deal worth $10 million. At this point, he will join Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery in the starting rotation, and the Yankees might not be done. General manager Brian Cashman, appearing on WFAN last week, said the Yankees are interested in free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish.