NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said Tuesday criticism from fans that the team isn’t willing to spend enough on building a winner is unfair.

In rare public comments to reporters, Wilpon said he’s well aware of the fan perception but said, “There’s nobody going out there trying to not win and not putting the best person in the absolute best position to win.”

“I get what the fan perception is,” Wilpon said. “It’s not something that’s lost on any of us. It’s just, we have a plan that we believe in (general manager) Sandy (Alderson) and the baseball department, and we’re going to stick with that plan.”

The Mets’ payroll currently sits around $130 million, far below the $154 million the team spent last year. But Wilpon called the payroll “an ongoing dialogue,” saying the Mets could end up around last season’s level again.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson

(Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

“It doesn’t have to come down,” he said. “We’re not at spring training yet. We’re not at Opening Day. So I can’t tell you where it’s going to end up.”

Alderson also defended the Mets’ approach, saying the organization has been more active this season than it has been given credit for. He cited the signings of relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak, outfielder Jay Bruce and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, as well as last year’s trade for reliever A.J. Ramos.

MORE: Report: Mets Not Discussing Possible Bartolo Colon Reunion

“We’ve probably added as many players as anybody and probably committed as many dollars as most teams — not all teams, but most teams,” he said, according to Newsday. “We’ve also taken a sort of wait and see (philosophy) as well … We’re happy with where we are. We’re not sure where we’ll end up, but we’re not done looking, we’re not done investigating, we’re not done listening.”

While Alderson acknowledged the Mets have a need at second and third base, he said there is a chance they may not add any more players before spring training.

Watch & Listen LIVE