The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that the Athletics have granted permission for the Yankees to speak with Patterson, who has been Oakland's roving pitching instructor since 2008. The Yankees have not confirmed the report.
A first-round Draft pick of the Yankees in 1975 who pitched in 10 games for them in 1977, the 55-year-old Patterson was informed of the Yankees' interest on Monday. He coached in New York's system from 2005-07 and was the Blue Jays' pitching coach from 2002-04.
"I certainly hope I get the opportunity to speak with them," Patterson told the Daily News in a telephone interview. "It's where I started my career. It would feel like I was going home. The Yankees have always felt like home for me."
In 2007, when the Yankees were faced with a problem in struggling Japanese import Kei Igawa, the organization looked to Patterson for answers, shipping the left-hander to work with him at Class A Tampa.
Patterson attempted an unorthodox fix for Igawa, instructing him to grip a small wooden stick between innings in the dugout, with the idea that he could repeat his balanced pitching motion and create muscle memory.
With better results, Patterson was also tapped to work with Joba Chamberlain, helping convert him from a Minor League starter into a dominant reliever who posted a 0.38 ERA in 19 regular-season appearances late in the 2007 season.
Bullpen coach Mike Harkey and Triple-A pitching coach Scott Aldred are among the other candidates being considered to replace Dave Eiland, who was told he would not be returning after the season.
Rick Kranitz, who served as manager Joe Girardi's pitching coach with the 2006 Marlins, has accepted a roving Minor League pitching coordinator position with the Astros. Kranitz, who served as the Orioles' pitching coach this year, had been mentioned as a possible candidate.
The Yankees' brass is holding organizational meetings this week in Tampa, Fla., with general manager Brian Cashman joining Hal and Hank Steinbrenner to discuss the team's offseason planning.
Patterson is also being considered for the Athletics' bullpen coach job. Former bullpen coach Ron Romanick was named to replace Curt Young as Oakland's pitching coach on Monday.