"Last year, we were the team that everybody loved, that feel-good story," Sabathia said on MLB Network on Thursday. "But getting Giancarlo (Stanton) 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."
After acquiring Stanton in a December trade from the Miami Marlins, the Yankees - who were one win away from reaching the World Series amid a youth movement in the Bronx - bought themselves the reigning National League MVP to slot alongside powerhouse Aaron Judge and catching sensation Gary Sanchez in a deep lineup.
And while the Yankees added Stanton's gargantuan salary to their payroll, they also used some savvy moves - including the trades of Starlin Castro (in the Stanton deal) and Chase Headley - to stay below the luxury tax threshold of $197 million for 2018.
The 37-year-old Sabathia, who re-signed with the Yankees for one year and $10 million in December, inked the largest contract (seven years, $161 million) for a pitcher in MLB history with New York in 2009.