Albert Pujols is aiming to "try to play as many games at first base next year as I can" for the Los Angeles Angels.

Shohei Ohtani, who needs Tommy John surgery, is expected to be available only as a designated hitter in 2019. That means Pujols' best avenue to playing time is at first base.

Pujols underwent season-ending knee surgery two weeks ago.

"Whether we've got Shohei or not, every year I get myself ready to play first base because that's my position," he said. "I wasn't able to do it in '15 or '16 because of injuries, but I get myself ready every year."

Pujols turns 39 in January and still has three years remaining on his contract, valued at $87 million.