The White Sox have declined the $16.5 million option on the contract of outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., making him a free agent this winter. Griffey is still owed a $4 million buyout, which completes the $116.5 million, nine-year contract that he signed with the Reds before the 2000 season. "He was as classy, appreciative, and complimentary as a man can be. He said he'd never smiled and laughed so much at the ballpark since he was a kid," White Sox GM Ken Williams said. "I wish we could have gone further in the playoffs to enhance those feelings." Griffey, 38, hit a combined .249 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs in 143 games last season for the Reds and the White Sox.