The Indians introduced Eric Wedge as their manager yesterday, making him the youngest skipper in the majors at 34 after two seasons leading Cleveland's top farm club at Buffalo.

Wedge, a former big league catcher, was picked by GM Mark Shapiro over Joel Skinner, who served as interim manager last season after Charlie Manuel was fired July 11. Skinner will resume his duties as third base coach.

The Indians signed Wedge to a two-year contract, with the club holding options for 2005 and 2006. Wedge, named minor league manager of the year by the Sporting News this year, will be the youngest manager to make his big league debut since Bobby Valentine with the Rangers in 1985. . . .

Braves coach Ned Yost was hired as manager of the Brewers, returning to the team where he was a backup catcher in the 1980s. He agreed to a two-year contract that includes a club option for 2005. . . . Ken Macha was promoted from bench coach to manager of the Athletics to replace Art Howe.

* CONTRACT ISSUES: Giants 2B Jeff Kent and Braves P Greg Maddux were among 32 players filing for free agency yesterday. . . . The Expos exercised P Bartolo Colon's $6 million option for 2003.

-- From News Services