As Los Angeles Angels pitchers and catchers reported to spring training this week for the start of the 2023 MLB season, the two-way star Shohei Ohtani was rightfully the focus.

The MVP of the AL 2021 can become one of the most important in baseball coveted free agents after the season, following the one-year, $30 million contract he signed in October to avoid arbitration.

Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels throws against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on October 5, 2022 in Oakland, California.

Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels throws against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on October 5, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

But when asked Thursday about the possibility of signing a overtime with Los AngelesOhtani did not give away much.

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«I’m not entirely sure what [agent] nez [Balelo] and the team have been talking, but as for me, I haven’t really heard anything about an extension,» Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, according to MLB.com. «I’m just trying to focus on the season. This is my last year, and I am aware of it. From now on I’m an Angel, and that’s all I want to focus on. I haven’t really thought too much about the future.»

The angels don’t have made the playoffs since the 2014 season, and doing so is something Ohtani has made clear is important to him.

Los Angeles Angels interim manager Phil Nevin, left, and Shohei Ohtani stand in the dugout during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Cleveland .

Los Angeles Angels interim manager Phil Nevin, left, and Shohei Ohtani stand in the dugout during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Cleveland . (AP Photo/David Dermer)

«I strongly believe that the Angels are on the same page as me,» Ohtani said. «They want to win just as much as I do. I can’t tell you what they’re really thinking, but I like to believe that.»

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Los Angeles added talent in the offseason, signing starting pitcher Tyler Anderson and trading for infielder Gio Urshela and outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

But it’s been a tumultuous few months for the Angels since owner Art Moreno Surprisingly, he announced that he would not sell the team after saying he would explore the idea in August.

«I had the opportunity to say hello to him yesterday on the field,» Ohtani said of Moreno. «No deep conversation. Just to say hi and see how it goes. As far as the reaction to his decision, I don’t really have much of a reaction. It’s business as usual. Nothing has really changed. I just want to focus on next season.»

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The two-time All-Star was named the Opening Day Starter on Thursday, for the March 30 matchup against the Oakland Athletics.

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels gestures during spring training baseball practice Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Phoenix.

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels gestures during spring training baseball practice Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

«We want him to pitch as often as he can without pushing him too hard,» manager Phil Nevin said. «The days that he’s ready to pitch, we’re going to have him marked to pitch.»

And while Ohtani’s on-field exploits will undoubtedly grab the headlines this season, his future with the Angels will steal the show.