Free agency beckons Curtis Granderson, with one season to go on his contract with the Yankees, and he looks forward to it. He can't see it not happening.

"Especially with this team being the way it has been, historically, the talks of extending guys out before the end typically isn't their M.O.," the outfielder said yesterday of the Yankees, after visiting P.S. 39 in Staten Island to help students affected by Superstorm Sandy. "If it happens, we'll address it as that time comes. But I'm just excited to play this year, and then, once we get to the end, we'll take it at that point."

In July of this past season, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman threw out a trial balloon indicating the team could consider changing its standard practice of letting employees finish their contracts when it came to Granderson and Robinson Cano, both of whom can enter the open market following the 2013 season. But Cano's agent Scott Boras has made it clear Cano won't accept a home-team discount, and Granderson hit so poorly in the final three months of the season the Yankees lost interest in the idea.

Granderson's statistically odd 2012 featured an impressive 43 homers and a ghastly 195 strikeouts and .319 on-base percentage. He recorded a .270 OBP in August and .282 OBP in September/October (regular season), at least slugging 15 homers over that period, before falling apart in the playoffs with a .182 OBP and .200 slugging percentage.

With nearly two months of reflection since the Tigers, his former team, swept past the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, Granderson doesn't own any grand theories about what exactly happened.

"It's baseball being baseball," he said. "You run through some spurts where you get hot and cold. Unfortunately, I got cold at the wrong time. It's one of those things where it's not the first time it'll happen, it's not the last time it'll happen, but obviously, definitely not the best time of the season to have happened.