Shohei Ohtani's impending free agency is made complicated by his UCL injury. The Los Angeles Angels' two-way phenom was just about certain to command a historic deal in the open market. He very well still could, though the prospect of him not pitching in 2024 is very real. Tommy John surgery is the most likely path forward for the 29-year-old.

Ohtani has remained in the Angels' lineup as a hitter after injuring the key ligament in his pitching arm but because he has already undergone Tommy John surgery once (in 2018), his rehab path is more complicated. Los Angeles will almost certainly be eliminated from the playoffs in the coming weeks, leaving only individual greatness for Ohtani to strive for.

A decision on Shohei Ohtani's future could be made very soon. USA TODAY Sports' Bob Nightengale believes that the superstar will choose to wrap up his season and undergo Tommy John surgery very soon.

“Ohtani has yet to publicly declare his intentions, but those familiar with Ohtani’s thinking believe that he could shut it down in the next 10 days and undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his torn UCL,” writes Nightengale.

Shohei Ohtani has the 2023 American League MVP award wrapped up and the Angels forfeited their chances to make the playoffs by putting key players on waivers. There is nothing left to play for besides padding season stats and pride. Los Angeles has a seven-game homestand ending on September 10, so Ohtani could choose to play out that stretch in front of the home crowd and then call it a season, as Nightengale points out.

Ohtani will remain one of the best designated hitters — and hitters overall — in all of baseball as long as he can still swing the bat. Being off the mound is a massive bummer but his incredible abilities at the plate allow him to continue dominating. Because of his power, discipline and speed on the base paths, he's still getting intentionally walked.

Should Ohtani choose to undergo Tommy John surgery very soon, he should have enough time to open next season as a hitter, even though it will take more time and require more caution to recover. Of course, the idea of doing rehab from the surgery again is not a super appealing option. Whatever Ohtani decides, baseball fans will be waiting with bated breath.